TLN Three Stars: Leafs somehow don’t lose to the league’s worst team, plan the parade!

Well that was a rollercoaster.
After a couple straight beatings at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs came out of the gate with another flat effort against Chicago, allowing two goals in the first, only to make a nice comeback thanks to backhanders from John Tavares and David Kampf, and a nice breakaway goal from William Nylander to win the game in overtime. It was far from perfect, and it’s still pretty sad that they barely beat a team without a win, but they managed to come out without being their first win, so that’s a plus.
Here’s to hope.
Three Stars
3rd Star: William Nylander
Even when the team was dead, you could still see William flying out there, even getting a little bit physical when it seemed like the team didn’t have a spark. It wasn’t his best night analytically, with only 50.68% of the expected goals at even strength, but he seemed like one of the few Leafs with life, and it paid off with the OT winner.
2nd Star: David Kampf

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Jake Muzzin’s rough start exemplifies Leafs’ early struggles

To say that not much has gone well for the Leafs through the early part of the season would be a massive understatement. They have dealt with injuries, their offensive stars have almost completely been held off the scoresheet and the team has struggled mightily to create offense in transition – something that has been a strength for this group in the past. The defensive unit hasn’t been getting the job done either, namely the shutdown pairing of Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl who have excelled in that role in the last couple of seasons.

Keefe on Muzzin and Holl: “Just two guys that haven’t played at the level that we’ve come to expect from them. Those guys take on a lot of tough assignments and it is difficult for them. But we’ve come to expect them to thrive in that position and it hasn’t happened here yet.”
— David Alter (@dalter) October 25, 2021

Given the team’s overall struggles, it may seem unfair to point the finger in any one direction but Muzzin and Holl have stood out from the crowd so far, and for all the wrong reasons.
While Holl has found a way to complement Muzzin on that pairing …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

A Look at a Leaf: William Nylander vs. the Canadiens (October 13)

Well, here’s to a new Toronto Maple Leafs season and a new series I had formulated in my head, in which I will focus on and breakdown one player’s performance for (hopefully) a majority of Leafs games.
Some of these will be longer than others, some might not even be about a good performance, but I’m looking forward to it and to this upcoming season. Fans are back, we’re getting an 82-game schedule as long as everything goes smoothly, so things are looking up this. The Leafs opened their season against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday with a 2-1 win and there was a good amount to breakdown. Specifically, who better to start this season with than William Nylander, who I think is poised to have yet another breakout season this year.
Nylander is always one of the most-talked Leafs and for good reason. He is coming into this season looking to build on a successful campaign last year that saw him net 42 points in 51 games. To be fair, the Leafs all faced a terrible, terrible fate in the playoffs at the hands of the Canadiens, but out of all the Maple Leafs in that series, …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

The Brad Hand era is over

Well, that didn’t last long.
On August 31st, Brad Hand, who was acquired a month earlier, was DFA’ed to make room for Danny Jansen. He pitched 7.2 innings with the team, and posted a 8.22 ERA. His FIP was slightly better at 8.21. He allowed as many home runs as walks (3 a piece) and allowed a total of 7 earned.
The cost for Brad Hand was catcher Riley Adams. Since joining the Nationals, he has a slash line of .341/.442/1.010. While this is not likely sustainable, it looks as if the Jays missed on this trade.
Adams was fifth on the catching pecking order, following Reese McGuire, Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno. Adams would have likely been outrighted unless he was traded.
This looks to be a bad trade, but it’s nice to see the front office at least try to fix their bullpen problem. I just wish they traded for the other high leverage reliever on the Nationals, Daniel Hudson.

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

George Springer to the Injured List, “we’ll see” is the response when asked if he’ll return this season

Well, here’s the corresponding move that nobody was hoping for.

We learned earlier that Otto Lopez was being called up to the Blue Jays, which meant that either the team wanted another position player for the upcoming Nation League series or somebody was hurt. Since it’s the 2021 Blue Jays and this team is cursed, it was obviously the latter.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that George Springer will be placed on the 10-day Injured List with a sprained left knee. This, of course, occurred on Saturday night in Seattle when Springer crashed into the centre field wall trying to track down a hit by Ty France.
We all saw how awful that play looked, so it really isn’t all too surprising that Springer is going to the IL, even though the team was trying to downplay the whole thing on Sunday. The shitty thing here is Charlie Montoyo’s answer when asked if we were going to see Springer again this season…

George Springer is going on the injured list with a sprained left knee per #BlueJays manager Charlie Montoyo.
Asked about timelines, Montoyo said he doesn’t know. “I wish I did,” he said, adding …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 38: There were no good vibes in Seattle

Well, things did not go as expected during the Blue Jays trip to Seattle. The vibes were not good and Jays dropped two of the three games.

Cam & Tyler broke down what went wrong in the series and managed to pull a few positives from the three games in today’s episode of BJN Radio! The bullpen struggled, but that might be a product of fatigue. As far as the offense goes, Teoscar continued his crazy hot streak while Vladdy started to bounce back from a rough week at the plate. On the mound, the Jays got a decent outing from Steven Matz in the series finale, which was a very good sign.
Moving forward, they move on to Washington for a quick two game set against a really bad Nationals team. There is immense pressure on the Jays to sweep this upcoming set of games and when you consider who the teams they’re chasing are playing this week, there is a chance for the Jays to get right back into the race this week.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Tyler Yaremchuk / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Handing out Summer League superlatives

Toronto Raptors: Handing out Summer League superlatives

The Toronto Raptors performed so well in Summer League play that they made it to the postseason, as their 3-1 record is indicative of a team that had the perfect blend of youth, aggression, and intensity on the defensive end. Having both blown teams out and come from behind, Toronto has looked very sharp. The […]
Toronto Raptors: Handing out Summer League superlatives – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Predicting where the remaining Toronto Maple Leafs UFA’s will end up

Predicting where the remaining Toronto Maple Leafs UFA’s will end up

We’re well into the NHL free agency period this off-season and there is still a handful of decent names out there that is still un-signed at this very moment. Some players that are currently a UFA were on the Toronto Maple Leafs last season and I honestly wonder where they could all end up. Whether that’s re-signing with the Maple Leafs, signing with a new team, or simply, retiring, if you know who I am talking about.
The Maple Leafs had numerous players that were up for contract this off-season, and as we know, a good chunk of them left Toronto and signed with brand new teams and some that were set to become UFA’s re-signed well before the free agency period (Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds.) With that being said, let’s go over the remaining UFA’s from the Maple Leafs and see if we could predict a landing spot for them ahead of next season.
Signed UFA’s
Before we start, let’s quickly go over all the notable UFA’s that were in the Maple Leafs system last season that signed with a new team…

Zach Hyman to Edmonton – 7-years x $5.5M
Frederik …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Royals vs Blue Jays 07/30/21 – Odds and MLB Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
How well the Toronto Blue Jays adapt to playing at Rogers Centre is a wild card, but there is some certainty with respect to the road struggles of their first opponent. The Blue Jays are -205 home favorites and the Kansas City Royals are +175 road underdogs with a 10.5-run total on the MLB odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by
The Blue Jays, who are playing their first game in Toronto since September 2019, are 11-4 in their last 15 home games when they closed below -175 on the moneyline (how the moneyline works). The total has gone OVER in nine of those 15 matchups. They are also 15-5 in their last 20 regular-season games against the Royals, although the last such matchup was on July 1, 2019. The Royals are 6-14 in their last 20 away games as an underdog of +150 or more, with eight of the last 10 such matchups finishing OVER at betting sites.
Royals vs Blue Jays | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Royals have a 45-56 record. They are 23rd among the 30 MLB teams in offense at 4.19 runs per game, and rank 22nd in OPS (.700). Since the all-star break, Jorge Soler (1.181 OPS since July 16), Hunter Dozier (.948) and Salvador …

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Author: Nation World HQ / Blue Jays Nation

Leaflets: Some stray thoughts heading into the expansion draft roster freeze

Today we’ll be granted a short break for trades and buyouts as the league heads into it’s roster freeze until after the expansion draft. While there were plenty of rumours of Alexander Kerfoot or Travis Dermott being on the move, nothing has materialized yet, and with just five hours to go, it seems like the Leafs roster is locked until Wednesday night when the Kraken player selection will be made official.
While it’s possible the names of players protected by each team will start leaking out tonight, nothing official is expected from the clubs until tomorrow.
Here are a few of my stray thoughts heading into what will be a busy couple of weeks for the Leafs.
The best trade partner might be the Seattle Kraken
Once the lists are made official and it is known who teams are leaving exposed in the draft, it might not be the worst thing for the Leafs to connect with the Kraken and ask them to do a bit of shopping on Toronto’s behalf. Especially on positions such as goaltender this could be a huge advantage for both Seattle and the Leafs if they can find a situation that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation