Rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren will start for Maple Leafs against Hurricanes

Fresh off of his first NHL victory, goaltender Erik Kallgren will be between the pipes when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
“He obviously earned it last night,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “The way the guys played in front of him, it was an easy decision.”
Kallgren made 35 saves to pick up his first career NHL shutout in his first start in a 4-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. It was his second appearance in the league after making his debut in relief of struggling goaltender Petr Mrazek last week against the Arizona Coyotes.
Over the course of his two NHL appearances, Kallgren is 1-0-1 and has made 45 saves on 46 shots (.978 save percentage).
Kallgren said he went to bed around 12:30 a.m. ET last night, which is later than usual for him after a game night as he tried to come down from the emotions of Tuesday’s big win.
He exchanged text messages with his family but has not actually seen or heard their voices yet.
“There’s been a lot of things happening for me for the last week so I’m looking forward to having a FaceTime with them later today …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

TLN Trivia: Can you name the first Leafs player from these countries?

The Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 victory on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets may seem like a random middle of the year regular-season game (which it is), but there was actually some history made during the game.
In making his NHL debut, Kristians Rubins became the first Latvian player to ever appear in a game with the Maple Leafs. Anytime a player plays in their first NHL game it is a big occasion for them, but I’m sure there were plenty of Latvian hockey fans that made sure to tune in to this one to support one of their promising up and coming defencemen.

Rubins says there was a big watch party in Latvia at 2 a.m. tonight for his NHL debut.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 8, 2021

With Rubins making Latvia the newest country to debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, there’s no better time to take a look back at the others who became the first to represent their nation over the history of the franchise. Ranging from 1973 until the most recent debut prior to Rubins in 2015, today’s TLN Trivia is both a test of your Leafs history knowledge and a little geography.
As always, be sure …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Raptors already near the top of the league in 2 hustle-related stats

Raptors already near the top of the league in 2 hustle-related stats

The Toronto Raptors managed to put together a tough victory against Jalen Suggs and the Magic on Friday night, as Gary Trent Jr. helped the squad withstand what was a furious comeback and improve to 3-3 on the young season. The Raptors have experienced some turbulence this season, as Nick Nurse trying to realize his […]
Raptors already near the top of the league in 2 hustle-related stats – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Three takeaways from Toronto Raptors narrow victory over Orlando Magic

The Toronto Raptors escaped with a victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night. What did we learn from the nail-biting win? In the NBA, all wins count the same. The isn’t collegiate football or basketball. There are no committees to determine the Toronto Raptors’ fate. At the end of the year, when we look […]
Three takeaways from Toronto Raptors narrow victory over Orlando Magic – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Grades as Toronto Raptors grind it out to beat the Los Angeles Lakers

The Toronto Raptors came to play in their victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a bully ball, grind it out, defensive mindset type of game which NBA fans love to see. Sunday’s win was a very interesting game to watch for a number of reasons. After Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka went down with […]
Grades as Toronto Raptors grind it out to beat the Los Angeles Lakers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lee Tanner / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Five best games of the 18-19 regular season

On the way to their first-ever NBA title victory, the Toronto Raptors featured in some barnstorming games during the regular season. What were the five best? A dream come true season for the Toronto Raptors is well into the rearview mirror, but that doesn’t mean it’s to be left in the past. The Raptors put […]
Toronto Raptors: Five best games of the 18-19 regular season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Raptors look to take 2-0 lead over the Warriors: Preview, start time, and more

After a rousing victory on Thursday, the Raptors are hoping to take care of business at home with a Game 2 victory over the Warriors. Think back to the opening minute of Game 1. Kyle Lowry, after the Raptors won the tip, turned the ball over to begin the game. The Warriors came back the other way and were unsuccessful themselves with a Klay Thompson miss. Pascal Siakam got the rebound, brought it up the court, worked his way close to the corner where he found an open Danny Green. At this moment every Raptors fan held their breath in hope of Green breaking out of his shooting slump. He missed.
One shot doesn’t make or break a game, specifically in the opening minute, however there was a different feeling to that miss. Everyone wanted to see it go in, no one more than Green himself. He’s struggled these playoffs and even more so in Round 3 vs. Milwaukee. But that one shot from Green, 47 seconds into the NBA Finals, would have meant a lot for the Raptors had it gone in.
Like Fred VanVleet and the bench finding their rhythm in the latter half of the Milwaukee series, Green’s …

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Author: Satbir Singh_ / Raptors HQ

Game 3 Analysis: On Norm, Toronto’s bench, and the superlative play of Kawhi

After the Raptors clawed out a Game 3 victory, what have we learned about Toronto’s play and how it could turn the series against the Milwaukee Bucks? We haven’t touched base in this space since Game 1 of Raptors-Bucks, so for this one we’ll take a look at some emerging trends and positive signs from the past two games, which is far easier to do after the Raptors won Game 3.
What have the Raptors learned about the Bucks in three games? Can they avoid another Game 2-style blowout? What’s working and what’s not working for Toronto? Let’s figure this out.
Keys to the Game
Over the past two games, which includes that ugly Game 2, here are your on-court net rating leaders for the Raptors.
Player | Net RatingLowry: -0.5Powell: -3.5Leonard: -4.3Siakam: -4.3Gasol: -5.3
One thing should not surprise you. Kyle Lowry, as ever, is the key to the team’s success.
And that’s what made the end of Game 3 so difficult — Lowry was +15 in 31 minutes on the night — and at the time he fouled out, the team was -10 in the 11 minutes he had sat to that point. Lowry likely would have …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

Listen to That’s A Rap #29: Post-Game 3 vs. Bucks Reaction

It wasn’t kind to our hearts, but the Raptors pulled out a victory over the Bucks in Game 3. The boys discuss what we can learn as Toronto continues on in the series. As has been the case all playoffs long, the Raptors stepped up when their backs were against the wall. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Bucks, the proverbial wall was a 2-0 series deficit, but by the 48th minute, the wall was Toronto overcoming the absence of two of their three most consistent performers in this series after they fouled out. Whether this game was a blowout or a heart-racing, double-overtime victory, Toronto got the win and kept their championship aspirations alive.
Check out the latest episode of That’s A Rap, as we try to collectively slow our breathing after a nerve-wracking game three victory.

On The Latest Episode:
The Raptors fought and clawed their way to their latest version of “most important game of the season.” I erroneously mentioned Toronto winning all the hustle stats. The fact that Toronto won the game despite losing all those stats is even more impressive. The Raptors wanted it more, and no one exemplified that desperation more than …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ

Listen to That’s A Rap #16: Post-Game 4 vs. Magic Reaction

The Raptors pull out another impressive victory over the Magic, pushing Orlando to the brink of elimination in the first round. The possibility of a Douchebag Sweep is still alive (shouts to The Starters)! Unlike the Gentleman’s Sweep (where the better team wins first three, loses Game 4, then closes things out in five), the Douchebag Sweep is when one team wins Game 1 — giving that fan base the false hope of a series upset — only to lose the next four games consecutively.
If Toronto does not close this out on Tuesday, you have every right to blame the That’s A Rap crew. Otherwise, you’ve been warned that the latest episode is filled with information that has one eye towards future rounds.

On The Latest Episode:
Unlike the previous two games, it was the Orlando Magic that jumped out to a hot start. They forced turnovers on the first two Raptor possessions and bolted to a 9-1 lead. The fact that Toronto still ended the quarter with a lead must have been discouraging for any Magic fan.
Jokes about the Raptors facing two opponents — Orlando and the referees — are funny to a certain extent, until you delve into the …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ