Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

In last week’s Prospect Roundup, we took stock of a number of Leafs prospects and how they have performed through the first couple of months of the season. One of those players was Pontus Holmberg, focusing on his rapid ascension to becoming an NHL regular. Fast forward a week, and his case for staying put in the Leafs’ lineup has only gotten stronger.
Holmberg scored his first NHL goal in last Wednesday’s win over the scorching hot New Jersey Devils, a goal which stood as the game winner. He found the back of the net once again in Saturday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins – a great shot into the top corner over the glove of Casey DeSmith – and established a new career-high with 12:01 of ice time.

GOALBERG. pic.twitter.com/rB4A9bGcdf
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 27, 2022

Holmberg now has two goals and an assist through his first eight NHL contests, but it is his play away from the puck that has really endeared him to head coach Sheldon Keefe. He was even trusted with a couple of shifts on the penalty kill this past week as he continues to grow into a regular role on the team.

Sheldon Keefe on the play of Pontus Holmberg, says as a rookie they always try to go through tape about what they can show players to improve …

Read More

Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Timothy Liljegren is determined, confident and impacting the Leafs already

Timothy Liljegren is determined, confident and impacting the Leafs already

It took about two shifts of Timothy Liljegren’s first AHL game with the Toronto Marlies this season to prove he was ready to step back up to the big club.
He was dominant with the puck, forcing Syracuse to make mistake after mistake and looked like a proven veteran. That’s what you’d expect from someone that played 61 NHL games the year before. And after a successful two-game conditioning stint, Liljegren was back with the Leafs for his first game on Saturday against Boston. Coach Sheldon Keefe eased him in – he had some moments in his first two games, but he wasn’t all there just yet. The AHL is one thing – everyday NHL action after a six-month layoff is another.
But Liljegren’s performance on Tuesday against Vegas – a two-goal night against one of the best teams and one of the best goalies – showed be was TRULY back. Liljegren had never scored twice in a game during his NHL career, but he looked like as confident and strong with the puck as ever. And after the mess of a start to the year it has been for Toronto’s blueline, mainly due to injuries, it’s a welcome sight. The Leafs ultimately lost 4-3 in overtime, …

Read More

Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation

Digging into Ross Atkins press conference: The future of the managerial position, bullpen heading into 2023 and more!

The annual end-of-season press conference took place on Tuesday afternoon, let’s dig into some of what Ross Atkins said.

Of course, he didn’t say much in terms of who they’re looking at in the free-agent market, or what the plan is for roster construction, other than “we need to improve”, but let’s start with some good news.
George Springer’s health:
On the play that tied the game, Bo Bichette and George Springer both dove for the ball, with Springer essentially getting close-lined. He suffered a concussion (which was pretty much a given) and a shoulder sprain.
Atkins also noted that Springer’s elbow is feeling better and that he’ll be visiting a doctor once cleared. If there’s an operation to remove the spur in the elbow, Atkins believes that it will only benefit the outfielder positively.
The future of the manager position:
The Toronto General Manager will spend more time looking for a manager, but it seems as if John Schneider is the leading candidate for the role. Atkins said, “I feel very confident about the job [Schneider] has done, it will be very difficult for us to find better than John Schneider”.
Although Schneider made a gaff in the second game of the series, the 42-year-old manager had a 46-28 record once he took over for the Jays. When they fired Charlie Montoyo, the Jays were 46-42, so it’s difficul …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: 3 goals for birthday boy Precious Achiuwa in 2022-23

Raptors: 3 goals for birthday boy Precious Achiuwa in 2022-23

The Toronto Raptors took a considerable risk in pulling off the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat, as former first-round pick Precious Achiuwa represents the crown jewel of Masai Ujiri’s return package. Having turned 23 yesterday on September 19, Achiuwa has been viewed as a long-term developmental piece. In his first few months with […]
Raptors: 3 goals for birthday boy Precious Achiuwa in 2022-23 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Cubs withstand Blue Jays rally, take series finale 7-5

Although the Jays took the first two games of this series against the Cubs, it was clear that Chicago wasn’t going to be an easy out. Both games required Toronto to come back from early deficits, and tonight, the early deficit was a little too much to handle. Chicago jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never trailed to avoid the sweep in a 7-5 win.
It was another rough go for Mitch White, who allowed 6 runs over 4 and 2/3 innings, elevating his ERA to 4.67. White ran into trouble early on, as Cubs batters forced deep pitch counts. White threw 70 pitches in the first three innings, and similar to his other starts with the Blue Jays, had a lot of traffic on the bases.
The Cubs countered with a bullpen game, throwing a total of seven pitchers at the Blue Jays offense. Although the Jays were able to have a little bit of a rally, the likes of Manuel Rodriguez, Mark Leiter Jr., Michael Rucker and others kept the Blue Jays from ever taking the lead. Three of the Blue Jays top 5 batters in the order – George Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Bo Bichette, combined to go 0-12 on the night.


Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

NBA shooting guard tier list: Where is Raptors stud Gary Trent Jr?

NBA shooting guard tier list: Where is Raptors stud Gary Trent Jr?

The Toronto Raptors took a significant risk when they signed Gary Trent Jr. to a three-year contract, as he was coming off a season spent partially with the Portland Trail Blazers in which his defense came under fire. Trent has completely reinvented his game under Nick Nurse. Trent is fresh off averaging 18.3 points per […]
NBA shooting guard tier list: Where is Raptors stud Gary Trent Jr? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ