Brandon Drury among the four Reds placed on Restricted List prior to Toronto series

Well, so much for Brandon Drury’s grand return to Toronto.

According to Ethan Diamandas, the Reds have placed Drury, Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora, and Joel Kuhnel on the Restricted List due to not having the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Cincinnati Reds have placed Brandon Drury, Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora and Joel Kuhnel on the restricted list.
These players will not travel to Toronto for series vs #BlueJays.
— Ethan Diamandas (@EthanDiamandas) May 20, 2022

I had joked earlier today that Drury was a prime Blue Jays Killer because he wasn’t very good here and now he’s randomly playing well with the Reds. Crisis averted! That said, the two other possible Blue Jays Killers I noted, Connor Overton and Jeff Hoffman, will be making the trip to Toronto.
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How the Maple Leafs can move on from another first round exit

Well, they did it again. Another first round exit.
Often when the Maple Leafs get eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, there’s plenty of people who like to put on their General Manager hat. They’ll start by saying “Trade this player!” And usually end with “Someone needs to be fired for this mess!”
Every year. After every lost series.
Usually, I would accept this form of reaction. People are upset, and honestly, they have every right to be after yet another first round departure. But this time around for Toronto was different. Very different.
The Maple Leafs went toe-to-toe with the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions. It went to a Game 7 and you could’ve argued that it should be tied after the third period. Fans from each team deserved another stressful overtime, like in Game 6.
As hard as Toronto fought for every inch of that ice, the Lightning fought just as hard, even after losing a key player like Brayden Point.
This isn’t a matter of sitting back and thinking about what’s wrong with this team — nothing is wrong — the Maple Leafs are an incredible team. If they ended up beating the Lightning, I wouldn’t be surp …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

After a poor start in Game 4, the Maple Leafs need better from everyone, including John Tavares

TAMPA, Fla. — John Tavares is well aware that his offensive play hasn’t been up to par.
And although some production from the captain probably wouldn’t have been enough to stave off the onslaught put forth by the Tampa Bay Lighting on Sunday, the embarrassing 7-3 loss has put the spotlight on the team’s leader as the first-round, best-of-seven playoff series has suddenly become a best-of-three.
“Obviously I’d like to create more and generate more,” Tavares said. “You just got to continue to keep working and competing and understand the responsibility you have by playing against the guys you are playing.”
Tavares’ play at even strength has been a source of much scrutiny throughout the regular season. Through 79 games, he finished sixth in team scoring with 39 even-strength points (15 goals, 24 assists). And while that isn’t nothing, it’s not what they’ve come to expect from the player they signed back in 2018 to a seven-year, $77 million contract on Jul. 1, 2018.
But he’s had the chance to redeem himself in the playoffs. While he’s been great in winning face-offs (71 per cent) and has some progress from a defensive standpoint, his inability to generate much offence through four games against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champ …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: Keep the good times rollin’

Jon Cooper thinks the Lightning didn’t play well on Monday night. He’s right there. He also didn’t think it took much effort from the Leafs to beat Tampa. Let’s hope he’s right there too and that the Leafs have more effort to give in order to face a likely more determined and prepared Tampa team.
The Leafs at -136 on the moneyline
The Leafs continue to be the favourites, between the game one win and the return of Michael Bunting their odds seem to have improved. Tampa is paying at a +115, in contrast.
Alex Kerfoot has been buzzin’
Alex Kerfoot is definitely establishing himself as a player who steps up come playoff time, and if you want to bank on him doing that, a goal from Kerf pays +550 tonight.
Auston and Mitch have the monkeys off their back
Both Auston and Mitch found the scoresheet immediately in Game one, and if you want to see if they can keep the good times rolling, three point nights for Matthews go at +400 and Marner pays at +450. A goal for Matthews is still the safest bet at +165.
More from TheLeafsNation.com
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning: Who has the advantage on the blueline? by Kyle Cushman
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning: The goaltending factor by Mark Norman
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning: The Leafs have the edge over the Lightning with forwards by Jon Steitzer
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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Game #1 Recap: Maple Leafs play game to remember and dominate Lightning

Well that was a perfect game by the Maple Leafs, wasn’t it?
One day before this contest, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said this would be a “borderline violent” series, while Lightning head coach Jon Cooper noted that Tampa has “been through all the wars.”
It looked like the Lightning missed one war on their way to two-straight Stanley Cups, though. The Maple Leafs played a near-flawless game defeating Tampa 5-0 and taking the lead with their first win of the series.
But their next game, which is on Wednesday night, will likely look a lot different.
Back to Monday night’s game, though, as there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to what some of the key moments in the game were.
The Gifs
We begin with likely the biggest moment of the game for Toronto — their penalty kill after Kyle Clifford’s match penalty for slamming Ross Colton into the boards from behind.

Clifford catches Colton in the numbers pic.twitter.com/dX4hEXkxw8
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 2, 2022

Toronto’s penalty kill has been one of the NHL’s best all season long, but to limit Tampa to only two shots is an incredible feat, especially in game one. Toronto had more scoring chances down a man than the Lightning did on the power play and that’s something the Maple Leafs can be proud of heading into game two.
Jake Muzzin, who’s been ridiculed a lot throughout the season because of his underperforming play got Toronto on the board first.

JAKE MUZZIN
THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE. 1-0 LEAFS pic.twitter.com/A8K3X9FOV5
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 3, 2022

This was a massive goal for the 33-year-old that helped his play grow throughout …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays call up Vinny Capra, our No. 19 ranked Prospect

Want some roster moves? Well, we got some roster moves!

On Friday afternoon, it was announced that my #19 Blue Jays prospect Vinny Capra was promoted to the big clubs, while Bowden Francis was optioned back to Buffalo. 

ROSTER MOVES:
We’ve selected the contract of INF Vinny Capra, who will wear number 44 and be active tonight
RHP Bowden Francis optioned to Triple-A pic.twitter.com/1E0f4O55BQ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 29, 2022

The 25-year-old utility outfielder was drafted in the 20th round of the 2018 draft. Capra is essentially a jack of all trades, playing every position except for first base and right field at some point or another in his minor league career.
This season, Capra has split time between three different positions. He’s played shortstop for 50 innings, third base for 63.2 innings, and left field for 33 innings. The 25-year-old has only committed two errors, one at short and one at third.
However, the 5’8 Capra excels with the bat. He’s slashing .304/.377/.478 in 77 plate appearances with the Bisons this season. While he’s only 5’8, he does pack a punch, as he has three home runs this season.
Furthermore, he’s shown a great eye at the plate, striking out just 10.4%, which is significantly down from 2021, where he had a BB% of 26.2% in Double. Capra’s walk percentage also increased, which sits at 9.1% (up from 8.9%).
He doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster, as he is replacing Cavan Biggio. As Kaitlyn McGrath notes below, since Biggio is on the COVID IL, it temporarily takes him off the 40-man roster.

No, I believe with Biggio on the Covid IL, it temporarily takes him off the 40-man roster, just like going on the 60-day IL. But when he comes back, they go back to just having 40
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) April 29, 2022

 
Either way, this is a big opportunity for the 25-year-old to show what he has, because you may not know the name Vinny Capra.
If you want to read the other 19.5 prospect articles I did, check out the thread below! Alternatively, you could go the opposite way and read from #1 up. If that’s the case, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays call up Vinny Capra, our #19 Blue Jays Prospect

Want some roster moves? Well, we got some roster moves!

On Friday afternoon, it was announced that my #19 Blue Jays prospect Vinny Capra was promoted to the big clubs, while Bowden Francis was optioned back to Buffalo. 

ROSTER MOVES:
We’ve selected the contract of INF Vinny Capra, who will wear number 44 and be active tonight
RHP Bowden Francis optioned to Triple-A pic.twitter.com/1E0f4O55BQ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 29, 2022

The 25-year-old utility outfielder was drafted in the 20th round of the 2018 draft. Capra is essentially a jack of all trades, playing every position except for first base and right field at some point or another in his minor league career.
This season, Capra has split time between three different positions. He’s played shortstop for 50 innings, third base for 63.2 innings, and left field for 33 innings. The 25-year-old has only committed two errors, one at short and one at third.
However, the 5’8 Capra excels with the bat. He’s slashing .304/.377/.478 in 77 plate appearances with the Bisons this season. While he’s only 5’8, he does pack a punch, as he has three home runs this season.
Furthermore, he’s shown a great eye at the plate, striking out just 10.4%, which is significantly down from 2021, where he had a BB% of 26.2% in Double. Capra’s walk percentage also increased, which sits at 9.1% (up from 8.9%).
He doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster, as he is replacing Cavan Biggio. As Kaitlyn McGrath notes below, since Biggio is on the COVID IL, it temporarily takes him off the 40-man roster.

No, I believe with Biggio on the Covid IL, it temporarily takes him off the 40-man roster, just like going on the 60-day IL. But when he comes back, they go back to just having 40
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) April 29, 2022

 
Either way, this is a big opportunity for the 25-year-old to show what he has, because you may not know the name Vinny Capra.
If you want to read the other 19.5 prospect articles I did, check out the thread below! Alternatively, you could go the opposite way and read from #1 up. If that’s the c …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Magic Johnson compares Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes to himself

Magic Johnson compares Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes to himself

The Toronto Raptors might not be playing well in their series against the Philadelphia 76ers, but it’s hard to do so when rookie sensation Scottie Barnes has been inactive or limited due to injury. Toronto now stands on the brink of getting swept by their division rivals. Barnes has not looked like a rookie at […]
Magic Johnson compares Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes to himself – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Bluelines: First round preview?

Tonight’s game could very well be a first round preview, if you consider a game without Auston Matthews and with Erik Kallgren in net a first round preview. Maybe it’s a preview of the first round if things start going bad for the Leafs.
Leafs are the underdogs paying +120 for the win
Being on the road and without Auston was enough to get the Leafs into an underdog situation on the Moneyline. As much as I want to believe that Toronto will clinch home ice advantage for the first round, the Lightning are certainly going to make it tough for them to do so tonight.
William Nylander’s hot hands pay +225
Nylander has been on a roll of late and has certainly tried to make up for the absence of Auston Matthews.
Big bodied depth as the Leafs undoing
In my article on the Lightning earlier today I suggested that Lightning’s fourth line of Maroon, Bellemare and Perry could prove difficult for the Leafs to line up against. Naturally, if anyone is going to burn the Leafs from that line it’s probably going to be Corey Perry, and a goal from him tonight pays at +290. Bellemare pays at +550 and Maroon at +450.
The guy who might have the best opportunity to score for the Li …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Matthew Knies has told the Maple Leafs that he’s returning to college

It looks like we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the Matthew Knies and Toronto Maple Leafs era to begin.
According to Elliotte Friedman, Knies has let the Maple Leafs know that he’s choosing to go back to school for another year to pursue the National Championship.

Matthew Knies has informed TOR he will return to Minnesota next season. Unfinished business, chance to win it all with the Gophers.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 14, 2022

Kyle Dubas and Knies reportedly met yesterday — a week after his season came to an unfortunate end in the Frozen Four. But don’t worry, he still wants to be a part of the Maple Leafs organization.

Knies’ advisor, Matt Federico, says that TOR has no reason to be concerned about his future with the organization
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 14, 2022

With the 19-year-old returning to school, we’ll have to wait until next year to see Knies in a Maple Leafs jersey.
More from TheLeafsNation.com

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Knies contract watch, Robertson running hot, Leafs sign Ellis & Rindell by Nick Richard

Kerfoot has had a more consistent role this year, but still remains the Leafs’ Swiss Army Knife by Jon Steitzer

Breaking down five of the best goals from Matthews’ historic season with the Maple Leafs by Nick Barden

POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIOPointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get a $25 free bet just for signing up right here! …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation