Rodion Amirov has been picked, what’s next for the Leafs?

Tonight was a little straight forward. The Leafs showed up. Picked when they were supposed to. They continued to prioritize skill above all else and selected a talented young player who already has 5 points in 10 games in the KHL this season, and then literally nothing else happened Leafs related for the rest of the draft. Of course, we might start getting more out of the insiders tonight and we’ll wake up to a whole new set of rumours tomorrow.
The post draft media availability
Kyle Dubas met with members of the Toronto media following the draft. Here are a few of the highlights of that conversation.

Dubas says Leafs aren’t planning to qualify Evan Rodrigues “at this point in time”
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 7, 2020

Since this is the biggest piece of news out of the press conference we’ll start with that. Unfortunately a cheap deal couldn’t be found for Rodrigues and he’ll hit free agency. Not really a loss for the Leafs, and potentially they can come back around and get something done, but Rodrigues’ will join the elite company of Nathan Horton as players who will be unrestricted free agents for the Leafs this offseason …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors can clinch second seed with win over Boston Celtics

Tonight the Toronto Raptors can secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference against a hungry Boston Celtics Team. The second seed means a lot more this year than in past years. The drop off in competition between the 6th and 7th seed is enormous — currently the Sixers are 6th and Brooklyn Nets are […]
Toronto Raptors can clinch second seed with win over Boston Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays will likely make up their games with Philadelphia by playing multiple doubleheaders in September

The Blue Jays were supposed to play tonight, but, as we know, this weekend’s series in Philadelphia has been postponed due to the Phillies having multiple positive cases of COVID-19.

There had been some thought that the Blue Jays and Nationals could play some games this weekend, either just as exhibition tune-ups to stay on the field or perhaps as a way to jig the schedule around, but it seems that won’t be the case.
According to Charlie Montoyo, it appears that rather than moving games around, Major League Baseball will likely have teams play doubleheaders later on in the season. The Jays are set to host the Phillies from Sept. 18-20, so that would mean the two teams would shove all six games into that three-day stretch.
Nationals reporter Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reported on Thursday that MLB is planning to implement seven-inning doubleheaders this season as a way to help ease the challenge such as the one the Blue Jays and Phillies will have in September.
Still, back-to-back-to-back 14-inning days… doesn’t seem ideal? The whole purpose of postponing games and making them up later is to maintain scheduling continuity and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rielly to return Tuesday? Liljegren returns to the Marlies

Earlier tonight we saw the activation of Cody Ceci from the Injured Reserve, that was immediately followed by the announcement that he would be playing  tonight against the Ducks.
There were initially reports that Rasmus Sandin would be the lone defenseman out tonight, but that was soon dismissed by this…

Liljegren going back to the Marlies will see Rosen and Ceci team up on Toronto’s 3rd pairing tonight in Anaheim. #LeafsForever
— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) March 7, 2020
So that explains why the Sandin is classified as the lone defenseman out, as Liljegren is now off the Leafs roster.
The cut of Liljegren isn’t at all surprising, as he seemed to be enjoying the least amount of confidence from Sheldon Keefe, despite not looking bad in his limited usage, but that limited usage matters. Keefe has been willing to lean on Marincin and Sandin at different times, and has a certain level of comfort with Calle Rosen as well, and putting an aggressively offensive defenseman like Liljegren on the ice with another rookie partner like Sandin might have been a little too much at this point.
Whether it’s this season or the start of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Postgame: Big Swing for the Real Thing

Tonight, the Leafs were in sunny Florida to take on the team on their heels, the Florida Panthers. This game was a huge test for Toronto against an opponent just 2 points back with a game in hand in the battle for third spot in the Atlantic Divison heading into tonight.
The Leafs held on to win a close game 5-3, and below are some thoughts on just how this important contest went tonight for the Maple Leafs.
Bad, Bad Goaltending
It seems like this goes into every postgame lately, but Frederik Andersen has just not been himself this season. This really soft goal from a bad angle highlighted a terrible performance tonight in a huge game from the netminder.

Noel Acciari gets another one for Florida
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 28, 2020

Thankfully, Toronto wasn’t the only team in this game that suffered from a poor showing in net. This powerplay goal for the Leafs simply shouldn’t be able to get through a goalie getting paid as much as Sergei Bobrovksy is.

Kapanen with a critical goal on the PP. 3-2. #LeafsForever
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) February 28, 2020

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Rielly and Ceci expected to return in March

Some good(?) news for the Leafs tonight, and I think they might have needed it, Morgan Rielly is expected to return in March. Also Cody Ceci will be returning around that time to, so, that is also news.

As we wait for an update on Tyson Barrie, word is that TOR expects both Cody Ceci and Morgan Rielly to return some time in March #SNTrade
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 23, 2020
This takes a lot of the cap relief scenarios off the table for the trade deadline, but the update also points to the Leafs having a number of NHL defense that could warrant moving Barrie or others at the deadline. Also with a return date possible this season, maybe, just maybe, Cody Ceci can be moved in the coming days as well.
As for Barrie, as Zach Laing stated earlier, Barrie did return for the 2nd period, and as I write this he’s been playing incredibly poorly and they might have been better off without him. Ignore that last sentence if you are a scout. Barrie will be a fine addition to your team.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Postgame: Road Trippin’ Down the QEW, Leafs @ Sabres

Tonight the Leafs were down the Queen Elizabeth Way in Buffalo, NY to take on the Sabres. The game was their 60th of the season, as we enter the third third of the season and well into the playoff hunt.
Here are some of my thoughts from this game.
Thanks for nothing, Zebras
The referees certainly had their hand in affecting tonight’s contest. Somehow the Sabres played a perfectly clean game, while the Leafs were guilty of 4 minor penalties. I’m not advocating for the refs intentionally evening things out, however, there were some obvious infractions committed by Buffalo that went uncalled. Here are just a couple examples:

Hyman knocked down by Eichel. No call. #LeafsForever
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) February 17, 2020

Kapanen’s eyes became dinner plates
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 17, 2020

There were also some calls against the Leafs that, while I know I have blue goggles on, looked suspicious to me such as this one that allowed the Sabres to go ahead in the 3rd period… more on that later.

The Muzzin tripping penalty that resulted in an Eichel PP goal. #LeafsForever pic. …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Postgame: Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs

Tonight the Leafs were facing the aged Chicago Blackhawks, who while still spearheaded by Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Patrick Kane, have reshaped their team through a re-build/re-tooling effort.
Below are some thoughts on how the game went.
I’ll warn you – there’s no clips of the Leafs goals below because there wasn’t anything worth showing for Toronto. The story tonight is just how they ended up allowing 6 goals and looking like a mess.
Bad Breaks
Toronto suffered a slow and unlucky start to the game. They allowed a goal against just 21 seconds into the first period on a fast zone entry from Chicago:

Caggiula on FI-YAH since he’s been back
Stream more goals HERE:
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) January 19, 2020

Starting the game off on the wrong foot plagued the team consistently during Mike Babcock, and it’s a shame to see it return tonight. A bad early goal, somewhat unlucky, set a bad tone for the rest of the game.
Poor goaltending
This was not Frederik Andersen’s night.
Things got much worse after the Caggiula goal, first with Toews beating …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Postgame #45: Leafs vs Jets

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Winnipeg Jets for Wednesday Night Hockey.
The Leafs are coming off of a frustrating loss against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but they’ll be hoping to rebound against a Winnipeg team that they’ve had success against in the past.
The Leafs lost the game in a shootout, 4-3.
Here’s 5 thoughts from the game.
Tough Luck for Andersen
After getting pulled against the Oilers on Monday night, Andersen had another rough night. He had allowed 3 goals on 15 shots. Obviously all of the chances were highly dangerous ones, but he didn’t exactly look sharp through the rest of the game.
The first goal for the Jets was some combination of bad luck and bad decision making by Andersen. He trips himself up on the way to stop a dump in he had very little chance of retrieving, and Nikolaj Ehlers is right there to fire it into an empty net.

#NHLJets lead off scoring with a very strange one that Nik Ehlers takes advantage of! 1-0 Jets.
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) January 9, 2020

He earned some luck back late in the game. As we went …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #36: What to Watch for Against the Rangers

Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers go head-to-head in Madison Square Garden in a classic Original Six contest.
It’s an important game for both teams as they try and turn their disappointing starts to the season around.
Here are some things to watch for in tonight’s game.

Rating: 74.4#39 LW

Rating: 79.9#9 C

Rating: 78.1#7 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.48#6 FL1

Rating: 73.6#43 LW

Rating: 79.7#10 C

Rating: 72.0#83 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.11#11 FL2

Rating: 73.6#48 LW

Rating: 72.3#95 C

Rating: 73.5#47 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.13#6 FL3

Rating: 73.0#64 LW

Rating: 70.5#154 C

Rating: 69.9#115 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.12#16 FL4

Rating: 76.1#10 LD

Rating: 75.4#17 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.78#12 DL1

Rating: 74.3#34 LD

Rating: 72.9#54 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.59#16 DL2

Rating: 72.4#74 LD

Rating: 71.9#80 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.14#19 DL3

Rating: 73.6#50 LW

Rating: 78.6#15 C

Rating: 70.5#106 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.24#21 FL1

Rating: 80.2#5 LW

Rating: 73.6#60 C

Rating: 71.7#87 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.18#9 FL2


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Author: Nicklaus Good / The Leafs Nation