Leafs day after thoughts: What’s wrong with Mitch Marner?

Nothing.
Mitch Marner has one assist through three games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for some reason, a lot of people are complaining about it. I don’t understand it.
The 24-year-old hasn’t produced in two of his first three games. So what?
A lot of fans are expecting Marner to be the best player on the ice. Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn’t. But you have to remember who he’s playing with right now. Nick Ritchie is without a point through the first three games, and John Tavares has two assists.
We’ve seen Marner get the chances.

Only a matter of time until marner pops what a chance pic.twitter.com/boCR665bq9
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, he gets robbed by Anton Forsberg, who’s starting this season with a .935 save percentage. His career save percentage in the NHL is .904. So it’s safe to say he’s off to a fiery start.

Marner is having a game, Tavares couldn’t finish. pic.twitter.com/uO023sC6Yv
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, Marner gets it over to Tavares, who also can’t beat …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Will Earl Watson help Fred VanVleet become a star?

Toronto Raptors: Will Earl Watson help Fred VanVleet become a star?

The winds of change have finally swept through the Toronto Raptors‘ roster permanently. Media access was granted to the team on September 27. It means training camp is here. Members of the new-look squad spoke to the media, like general manager Bobby Webster, players Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Goran Dragic. What was extremely different […]
Toronto Raptors: Will Earl Watson help Fred VanVleet become a star? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

TLN Top 20 Leafs: Where do the kids fit in?

TLN Top 20 Leafs: Where do the kids fit in?

We are now halfway through ranking the Top 20 Leafs. Yesterday we reached Alexander Kerfoot and he seems like an appropriate divide for the exercise, and I think slots 4-10 are some of our most debate-worthy rankings of the list, so stay tuned for that.
One of the things that I purposely asked the rankers to do was leave out anyone who we considered in the prospect rankings that we did in the previous month. This is largely because I didn’t think the world needed two articles looking ahead to what Sandin, Robertson, and Liljegren would be doing next season, but also because at least two of those three are still far from locks on the Leafs roster.
Still the question remains, “where would they fit in?” We had you covered on that all along, and now we can tell you where they fall in the top 20 Leafs.
For Rasmus Sandin, he would have slotted in right in front of Alexander Kerfoot and occupied the 11th overall spot instead of him.
There’s no doubt that Sandin is considered a lock for the blueline this season and that he is likely to start a bit more sheltered, but be handed …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Morgan Rielly’s contract remains at the top of the Leafs to-do list

Morgan Rielly’s contract remains at the top of the Leafs to-do list

We’ve made it through August. Finally. The darkest month for hockey content is over and by next week we’ll have prospect camps, the following week we’ll be treated to rookie tournaments, and soon training camps will open. NHL hockey is slowly returning.
While the return of hockey and things hockey related to talk about is more than welcome, it does begin to attach a bit of a sense of urgency to some of the things left for the Leafs to address, and right at the top of the list has to be dealing with the contract for Morgan Rielly.
One of the things that has been an ongoing area that Kyle Dubas needs to improve in is addressing the amount of talent that has walked out the door in free agency with no returning asset for the Leafs beyond having a bit more cap space to work with in the offseason.
Kyle Dubas became the GM of the Leafs in May of 2018. That first offseason is a bit more forgivable as it would have been Lou Lamoriello failing to extend James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak, but nevertheless it was on Dubas’ watch that JVR and Bozak …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Trading Pascal Siakam to the Kings makes little sense

Raptors: Trading Pascal Siakam to the Kings makes little sense

The Toronto Raptors are plodding through what has been a very uncertain offseason full of twists and turns, but one of the few things that fans can take solace in following the departure of Kyle Lowry is that star power forward Pascal Siakam is still in the mix and a part of the long-term core. […]
Raptors: Trading Pascal Siakam to the Kings makes little sense – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Masai Ujiri returning to Toronto saved the offseason

Raptors: Masai Ujiri returning to Toronto saved the offseason

The Toronto Raptors have been through a very turbulent offseason over the last few months, and one of the main reasons for all of that commotion was the uncertainty surrounding Masai Ujiri and his place within the front office. When the 2020-21 season expired, so did Ujiri’s contract. After a sterling job building the Denver […]
Raptors: Masai Ujiri returning to Toronto saved the 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: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors?

Toronto Raptors: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors?

Toronto Raptors decision-making goes through Masai Ujiri, but is he here for the long haul? Since his hiring in 2013, all the important decisions surrounding the Raptors have gone through him. The decision to upgrade DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the deal to acquire Marc Gasol, and even the […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Masai Ujiri indirectly calling the shots for Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Travis Dermott has a price tag and upside the Leafs shouldn’t be in a rush to walk away from

As we continue our march through the Leafs roster and pending free agents it seemed inevitable that once we got to Travis Dermott we’d wind up talking about the expansion draft. There’s a good reason for that, and it’s the Leafs are likely to go with a protect four forwards and four defenseman approach and in that scenario the best Leafs defenseman available to Seattle is Derrmott.
With Rasmus Sandin very much going to be a NHL regular next season, and Timothy Liljegren at least making a strong case for platooning in and out of the lineup as a seventh defenseman to start, it seems that Dermott might be a bit more expendable and to that I say, yes, those players do make it so you don’t stress about losing Dermott as much, yes you might be excited to see what Dermott can do with more responsibility in Seattle, but no a cost controlled defenseman with upside is not someone the Leafs should be trying to lose.
To date the biggest hinderance in Dermott taking the next step is probably former Marlies teammate Justin Holl. The fact that Holl found chemistry with Muzzin has locked him …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A farewell to Freddie? It certainly seems that way

As we go through the list of Leafs free agents it seems that Frederik Andersen is the one that is almost universally accepted as the non-rental player most likely to be swiftly shown the door this summer. It’s a shame that Andersen, the goaltender who provided the Leafs with the most consistent stretch of goaltending during this century isn’t getting a chance to head out on a high note. Instead the Leafs kept him one season to long, and he was forced to become the villain.
Let’s focus on the villainous season of Freddie Andersen, which was essentially a story in four parts…

Month
Narrative
GP
W
SV%
GAA

January
The Slow Start
8
5
0.892
3.01

February
Redemption ending in injury
8
6
0.918
2.38

March
Playing through the pain for the team
7
2
0.876
3.42

May
The tragic end
1
0
0.857
4.04

While it could be a simple as Andersen rushing back for a second time in the season, or having his confidence shaken by the unfortunate twists of this season, the performance was enough that we didn’t see Andersen in the playoffs this year, and the net was given to Campbell, despite his own injury challenges.
Of course, there’s also this…

Pierre LeBrun on Insider Trading …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Vladdy breaks out of his slump, Nate Pearson goes back to Triple-A, Oakland relocation talk, and more!

Quite a bit happened yesterday so let’s go through all of it…

Before Tuesday’s series-opener in Atlanta, our good pal Paul wrote that Vlad Jr. was going through his first slump of the 2021 season, highlighted by a 6-for-27 showing with no homers over the team’s six-game strip through Oakland and Houston. Paul noted that opposing pitchers had started pounding Vladdy low in the zone resulting in a bunch of balls getting drilled on the ground.
On Tuesday, Vlad went 3-for-5 with a game-tying home run and another clutch game-tying single. The ball that he hit out of the park off of Bryse Wilson, who was cruising, was located in the lower half of the zone, which is a good sign that Vladdy has made the proper adjustment to break out of this cold snap.

OPLAKATA PO pic.twitter.com/dwqKbM0sZo
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 12, 2021

The Blue Jays ended up winning thanks to a three-run rally in the eighth inning, in which Teoscar Hernandez hit a rare bases-loaded infield single that drove in a run and Cavan Biggio drew a bases-loaded walk. Also key to the win was a strong start from Robbie Ray, which featured …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation