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

It looks like the Canadian Division could happen, and the Leafs (Canada’s team) will own it

There are few things the NHL does or even considers that could benefit the Leafs. In fact things like revenue sharing, salary caps, putting the Leafs in the same division as the Lightning are signs that the NHL has no interest in doing right by the team that props it up the most. Canada’s Team has been done dirty, but there are signs that could be changing.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley to @BrianBlessing on Vegas Hockey Hotline on facing Nate Schmidt/Canucks: “Yeah, but they’re going to be in the Canadian division.”
Oh.
— David Schoen (@DavidSchoenLVRJ) October 14, 2020

Buried at the bottom of that quote about two teams that no one cares about is something that directly impacts the Leafs. The assertion by an NHL owner that there will in fact be a Canadian division next season.
You might need a refresher on what teams those are because they either suck or don’t matter, but here is how those teams finished last season:

W
L
OL
PTS
RW
RgRec
RgPt%

EDM
37
25
9
83
31
31-25-15
0.542

TOR
36
25
9
81
28
28-25-17
0.521

WPG
37
28
6
80
30
30-28-13
0.514

VAN
36
27
6
78
27
27-27-15
0.5

CGY
36
27
7
79
25
25-27-18
0.486

MTL
31
31
9
71
19
19-31-21
0.415

OTT
25
34
12
62
18
18-34-19
0.387

At first glance it might be appalling …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs more serious about Thornton than originally thought

Things are heating up. There is both chatter AND rumblings. It seems the Leafs really want Joe Thornton to be a Leaf, even if he did shave that magnificent beard.

To follow up on @mirtle’s piece, my understanding is that both Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe have talked to Joe Thornton about the Leafs’ interest. So let’s see where this goes. Feels like the Sharks or Leafs at this point. I do think Jumbo would be a terrific fit in Toronto. https://t.co/3jZwu8r4x8
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 14, 2020

That’s pretty interested.
“Hearing several core Maple Leafs have personally pitched Joe Thornton on going to Toronto. The courtship is on and the interest is real. But one thing I’ve always been told about the future Hall of Famer: do not underestimate his loyalty to San Jose.”- Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts

How interested are the #Leafs in Joe Thornton?@FriedgeHNIC breaks down the latest with @JeffMarek, @Burkie2020 & @StuMunrue.#LeafsForever
Full chat https://t.co/6hcY8bwcLg pic.twitter.com/RDirqg5MRF
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) October 14, 2020

Yep, there’s definitely a lot of interest and desire for Thornton to be a Leaf on Toronto’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What Toronto is getting in Wayne Simmonds

LOCAL BOY! GRIT! LEADERSHIP!
Those are all good things. All things that will serve the Leafs well, but should ultimately be considered the cherry on top with what Toronto has brought in by signing Wayne Simmonds to a one year deal @ $1.5M.
There’s still a matter of what the Leafs have in Simmonds.

Okay, so last year wasn’t a strong showing for Wayne.

Okay, so the last three years haven’t been strong ones for Simmonds. Maybe it’s time we acknowledge this really was about grit, leadership, and the excitement of a home town kid playing for the Maple Leafs. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as the Leafs are careful about where Simmonds slots into the lineup.

Season
Age
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
EV G
PP G
S%
ATOI
HIT

2016-17
28
82
31
23
54
122
13
16
13.8
18:58
162

2017-18
29
75
24
22
46
57
12
11
13.6
18:05
129

2018-19
30
79
17
13
30
99
12
5
10.8
15:40
137

2019-20
31
68
8
17
25
66
3
5
6.7
14:55
145

data via hockey-reference.com

There’s the hit column, as pronounced as ever. The declining goal production isn’t ideal, but that shooting percentage in 2019-20 speaks to a player that was unlucky or in a poorly cast role. The time on ice is putting Simmonds in a third line situation, which is likely where he’ll start in …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Real Reason the Toronto Raptors Lost the Series

Things didn’t go according to the plan for the Toronto Raptors as they were eliminated too soon. There’s one guilty party that should take all the blame. The Toronto Raptors went the distance with the Boston Celtics but in the end, they weren’t able to deliver a knock out blow. Instead of finishing the season […]
The Real Reason the Toronto Raptors Lost the Series – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays are suddenly right in the mix for a playoff spot after sweeping the Orioles

Things looked really, really bad on Sunday.

The Blue Jays dropped both games of their doubleheader against the Rays, one of which came in an excruciating, late-game meltdown fashion, and fell to 7-11 on the season. On top of that, Bo Bichette, who finally started heating up, got placed on the Injured List with a knee injury.
But then along came the Trash Birds and everything changed. The Jays executed their first sweep of the 2020 season (also their first series win!) and, suddenly, the team is only a half-game out of a playoff spot.
Looking at the standings, if we assume that the Yankees, Rays, A’s, Astros, Clevelanders, Twins, and White Sox make up seven of the eight playoff teams, that would leave the Jays in the mix with teams like Baltimore, who they just swept, Texas, who just had a legitimate temper tantrum about a guy hitting a home run off of them, and Detroit, who won like 30 games last year, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the American League.
As rough around the edges as the Blue Jays have been this year, coming out on top of that group is absolutely doable.


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bo Bichette tweaked his knee and is going to get an MRI

Things have been looking up for the Blue Jays as of late. The offence is coming around largely because Bo Bichette has gone nuclear at the plate, but, since we can’t have nice things, here’s an out-of-the-blue setback.

Bichette reportedly hurt his knee in Saturday’s game against the Rays and he’s going to get an MRI done to see what’s going on. As a result, he likely won’t be playing in either of Sunday’s games.

Bad news to start your morning, #BlueJays fans:
Bo Bichette felt something in his right knee last night. He’s going through tests, including an MRI, and is unlikely to play today.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) August 16, 2020

My thoughts…

Let’s hope this isn’t anything serious. Good lord.
If Bo is injured for any prolonged period of time, that would obviously be a massive hit for the team’s lineup. It would also mean that we would surely see Santiago Espinal called up from the Alternate Training Site because there’s no actual shortstop on the roster beyond Bo.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Gone in November: Four more months until NHL free agency (but we’ll talk about it now)

This might have been one of those things that goes without saying given that all the talk has been about contracts being extended until October 31st, but Bob McKenzie has highlighted something we all assumed…

On critical dates, one we can pencil in — we are using @TSNquizmaster’s No. 2 pencil — is Free Agent Frenzy(?) on Nov. 1, 2020. We know this, for now, because 2019-20 contracts set to expire on June 30 have been extended to Oct. 31. So Nov. 1 would be Day 1 of 2020-21 contracts.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2020
Yep. It looks like NHL GMs will be making it November Rain for the 2020 crop of NHL unrestricted free agents. And for what it is worth, it will be very much a what we see is what we get group as no names will be added through amnesty buyouts…

Seeing all sorts of speculative chatter amongst fans discussing possibility of new CBA amnesty buyouts to help clubs manage flat cap. Amnesty buyouts are NOT part of agreement. They might make a GM’s life easier but wouldn’t help owners/players navigate their troubled economy.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2020
Not that amnesty or compliance buyouts …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the NBA’s New Emerging Duo

Some things are just meant for each other, like peanut butter and jam, s’ mores at campfires, and more importantly for the Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. The duo has taken the Toronto Raptors season by storm and has emerged as a top duo in the league, whether it’s on the court or in the […]
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the NBA’s New Emerging Duo – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Marlies sign a couple of CHL stars

For me personally there are few things I want to do less in life than watch AHL hockey. Over the past few weeks, I’m shocked that my stance on that hasn’t particularly changed, as any hockey might be nice, but today’s signings test my stance a little more as I am a big fan of one of the signees.

News: The Marlies have signed defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer and forward Jeremy McKenna to two-year AHL contracts.
Details » https://t.co/HKbZW5wqRD#ForeverStartsHere pic.twitter.com/6SuFK9udAK
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) April 4, 2020
The player here that particularly stands out for me is Noel Hoefenmayer, a talented offensive defenseman from the Ottawa 67s. I wanted the Leafs to draft him in 2017, I wanted the Leafs to sign him last year when he wasn’t offered an entry level contract from the Coyotes, and now here we are finally getting him into the system on an AHL deal.
Here’s what I had to say about him last year:
The Ottawa 67’s defenseman was drafted in the fourth round in 2017. He’s a talent offensive defenseman, but might not have the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation