Auston Matthews is a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award

It might fall into the category of things we’re not ready to hear about or celebrate, but Auston Matthews is one of the three finalist for the most outstanding player in the NHL.

Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Sidney Crosby are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, as voted on by their @NHLPA peers.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 2, 2021

Auston’s Rocket Richard winning year and 40+ goal season in 56 games is why we’re seeing his name up there for sure. In addition, Matthews has begun playing a much more complete game, and can be dominant in his own zone as well. He’s been consistent throughout the regular season, when the voting takes place, and only had a brief lull as he recovered from a wrist injury. The playoffs don’t factor into this, and while they were statistically underwhelming, we can certainly see where Matthews was playing a competitive game, but not getting the results we needed.
Now, here’s the catch. He’s nominated for the same award as Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid who had an absolutely mammoth finish to the season, where he put up over 100 points in a 56 game season. It’s an uphill battle. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A Fortnight on the Farm: Volume Two

As is the nature of such things, players get hot, and they get cold, they have a horrendous game or a magnificent one, but even as we know one or two games do not a trend make, even a couple of weeks can create an intriguing illusion which can fade just as quickly.

So I’m looking for trends over the last two weeks, grooves having been found (or lost) but also letting this be informed by the ongoing accumulation of a larger sample where appropriate (this is inescapable for pitchers where samples are still tiny). You’ll see why as we go along.
Dunedin Blue Jays
As I mentioned, it’s my custom to reverse order each time so I’m starting at the bottom this time. The temptation here, and for all these teams, will be to report on the top prospects first and who am I to resist temptation? The most highly touted player on this roster is unquestionably SS Orelvis Martinez. When last we checked, the Top 100 (per Pipeline and others) prospect was off to a slow but not embarrassing start, sporting an OPS of .705 13 strikeouts in 12 games.
Over the last two weeks, he’s seemingly …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

AL East Report – May 31

All things considered, the Toronto Blue Jays had a good week going 4-2 (should’ve been 5-1). Aside from the poor managerial decision in the second game of the doubleheader, the Blue Jays had a great week which saw fan favourite Alek Manoah debut.

That begs the question, what about the other teams in the division, what were the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees up to. Spoiler alert warning, Baltimore’s section won’t be more than a paragraph.
Tampa Bay Rays
Firstly, I want to apologize that I basically spoke there in the standings into existence, sorry about that.
The Rays had another great week, finishing 4-1 with their only blemish against the Royals. They’ve now won 15 of their last 16 games. This in part is due to their fantastic pitching staff, starters and relievers alike. Furthermore, they’ve also benefited from the return of the first man Ji-Man Choi who in 48 plate appearances, has a slash line of .342/.479/1.084.
Glasnow continues to prove that he is an ace (except when he pitches against the Jays) owning a 2.57 ERA with nearly 100 strikeouts in 70 IP. They are also getting support from their other starters, including the 41-year-old Rich Hill who is …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Two Leafs prospects make Sweden’s World Championship roster

We’ll file this one under things that give us hope. Two of the Leafs top overseas prospects, Pontus Holmberg, and Filip Hållander have been selected to represent Sweden in the World Hockey Championship tournament. (You know, that thing we used to watch all the time before the Leafs started giving us brief playoff appearances.)
Holmberg is coming off an incredible playoff run that saw him named MVP of the playoffs. It makes a lot of sense that he was selected given his 7 goals and 14 points in the 14 games played. His regular season was a bit more underwhelming, but still solid for a young SHL player as he had 9 goals and 23 points in 45 games.
Obviously the playoffs didn’t go as well for Hållander, as he had 3 points in 7 games, but he had a modestly better regular season with 13 goals and 24 points in 51 games. He’s also a couple years younger than Holmberg (Hållander is 20, Holmberg 22). It is also much more likely that Hallander will be the player we see in North America next year, though getting both would be a treat.
The two current Leafs prospects will play on Sweden with some former Leafs in Viktor …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin soon to the Leafs

This week featured a lot of good things from the Toronto Marlies, who needed a few bounces their way. That was, until, they played the Belleville Senators again last night and lost 7-2. However, there’s still a few good events that happened in the past seven days.
After going 0-for-20 against the Belleville Senators last week, Toronto wanted to start this week on a better note. And they did. Adam Brooks got on the board against the Stockton Heat on Monday which was their first power play goal since March 14th against Laval.
It was, too, Brooks’ first goal in nine games which was a boost for both him, and the Marlies.
“I’m sure his confidence, got a boost, but if I’m him, my confidence wouldn’t have been down.” Said Marlies head coach, Greg Moore. “You know, as an athlete, you always want to feel the back of the net. He did a lot of good things. It was one of his better games and again, I know I say this a lot, but it’s always good to see when guys do things right away, work hard and get rewarded for it.”
Brooks is now …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Sandin reportedly out several weeks after blocking a shot

I guess we can file this one under things that certainly aren’t ideal.

It sounds like Rasmus Sandin’s foot injury will sideline him for several weeks. He got hurt blocking a shot during the Toronto Marlies season opener in Winnipeg on Monday night.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 17, 2021

After Greg Moore had initially stated that Sandin would be listed as day to day, the diagnosis has taken a turn for the worse, and Sandin could miss a sizeable portion of this condensed AHL season. That would mean that since last March, one of the Leafs prospects has played five minutes in the NHL, and one game in AHL. Again, that’s not ideal for him or the Leafs.
As far as the Leafs depth situation, with Lehtonen, Marincin, Liljegren, and Rosen all capable of stepping up and the Marlies being deep enough on defense that they trade David Warsofsky and were dressing Joseph Duszak as a forward, the immediate team worries aren’t significant. It’s more the long term picture that needs to be considered, especially since it seemed that Rasmus Sandin was going to be a likely member of the Leafs defensive group next season.
The issues with …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Person of Interest: Who is the mystery forward the Leafs want?

Few things spark the imagination of Leafs fans quite like saying the Leafs are interested in a winger and then not telling us who. To make matters worse this name is apparently sitting on a piece of paper in Elliotte Friedman’s possession just haunting and teasing Toronto sports fans, especially after a game where they could only muster one goal. While we might be light on answers, we’re certainly fully stocked on wild specualtion, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. We’re going to speculate the hell out of this as we try to figure out who the Leafs are after.
Michael’s pick: Alex Iafallo
I mentioned in an earlier roundtable that Alex Iafallo makes a lot of sense and I think he is the mystery winger. Not only is he someone who can slot anywhere in the lineup, but his contract isn’t too high in spit of Toronto needing to retain some of it. The Leafs and Kings already have a strong trade relationship (Muzzin, Campbell, etc) so it makes sense the two might be negotiating another trade.
Brian’s pick: Tanner Pearson
I wrote on Friday about the potential …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors rumors: Masai Ujiri needs to chase Victor Oladipo this offseason

Raptors rumors: Masai Ujiri needs to chase Victor Oladipo this offseason

The Toronto Raptors might’ve turned things around after a comically unlucky start, but the release of Alex Len, a tacit acknowledgement by Masai Ujiri and Nick Nurse that they underperformed in the offseason, shows that the Raptors need to make some major adjustments in the summer to return to the NBA’s elite tier. Given the […]
Raptors rumors: Masai Ujiri needs to chase Victor Oladipo this offseason – 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: 5 things right and wrong, including VanVleet’s All-Star case

Toronto Raptors: 5 things right and wrong, including VanVleet’s All-Star case

The Toronto Raptors have gone 1-3 for the week, but things are finally starting to click despite the record not being reflective of that. After the first two weeks of writing this type of article, there have been 1 right and 9 wrongs. And it was rightfully deserved. The Toronto Raptors Raptors were playing very […]
Toronto Raptors: 5 things right and wrong, including VanVleet’s All-Star case – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors have to turn it around, 2021 free agency depends on it

The Toronto Raptors have to turn it around, 2021 free agency depends on it

The Toronto Raptors are off to a historically bad start, and turning things around is a necessity. Not just for playoffs, but the broader future of the organization. It has been truly tough to watch. The Toronto Raptors just can’t seem to find a way to win. Sitting at a 2-6 record, tons of questions are […]
The Toronto Raptors have to turn it around, 2021 free agency depends on it – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ