Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term

Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term

Coming into the season, no one really knew what to make of Toronto Raptors two-way player Yuta Watanabe. He could defend some yes, but what position was he best served at? Furthermore, was he going to evolve his offensive game? Watanabe didn’t get off to the greatest start, but he soon found a foothold in […]
Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 3: A Return to Optimism After a Difficult Week for the Blue Jays

What a strange week that was!

After taking two-of-three from the Yankees to kick off the season, the Blue Jays rolled into Texas and we all just assumed they would plow through the Rangers, as the history of that rivalry would suggest. That didn’t happen. After that, the Blue Jays went “home” to host the Angels in Dunedin and dropped the first two games of the series to extend their losing streak to four games. Thankfully, the Blue Jays ended the weekend on a positive note with a 15-run Saturday and a well-timed rain-out on Sunday that saved us from having to watch Tanner Roark pitch to Mike Trout.
We welcomed Brendon Kuhn, everybody’s favourite out-of-the-blue news-breaker, to the podcast to go over the week that was, touching on the lows, such as Bo Bichette’s struggles at short and the team’s ugly strikeout numbers, and reaching for the highs, such as Steven Matz’ hot start and Robbie Ray’s return bumping Tanner Roark to the bullpen.
We finished off by looking ahead at this week’s series against the New York Yankees, which will put two teams who haven’t exactly lived up to expectations thus …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jack Campbell goes for NHL record as Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Ottawa Senators

So this is what having a top tier goalie feels like?
Since arriving in Toronto, Jack Campbell has given Toronto Maple Leafs fans a feeling they haven’t felt in nearly 20 years, a sense of trust in the ability to win low-scoring games as much as they can win high scoring ones. Tonight he’ll be looking for his 11th straight win to start the season which would set the all-time NHL record, breaking a current tie with Carey Price.
Standing in his way are the Ottawa Senators who despite their position at the bottom of the North Division have refused to roll over against the Leafs, winning three of seven games between the two Ontario rivals. In a year where the draft lacks a clear franchise player, there’s been less of a push for bottom feeding teams to tank, so the young Senators have been playing for pride and developing their future stars in Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk, and Tim Stützle.
If Toronto wants to prove to the rest of the league that it deserves a position at the top of the standings, they will have to show that they can dominant games when necessary. A game against …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

It was 3-1. Toronto Maple Leafs complete late comeback over Edmonton Oilers

So this is what it’s like being on the other side of a late game collapse against a divisional rival.
After a night spent out-chancing the Edmonton Oilers, and ringing more posts than an Amazon driver rings doorbells, the Toronto Maple Leafs erased a 3-1 deficit with under eight minutes remaining in the game to win 4-3 in overtime.
After a quiet first period that saw no goals or penalties, Pierre Engvall opened the scoring in the second period by not punching in a goal. Initially it was ruled no goal due to a hand pass, but the replay showed that despite reaching out, Engvall’s glove never made contact with the puck.

PIERRE ENGVALL
Off Mike Smith’s head! pic.twitter.com/hk28cpwaN5
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 28, 2021

The next period and a half was spent watching McDavid and Draisaitl do things that only McDavid and Draisaitl can do (which may or may not include putting up multiple points in a loss). With ex-Leaf Tyson Barrie extending the Oilers lead to two, it seemed like Toronto’s grasp on the North Division lead was about to further slip.
Instead, John Tavares decided to show why he’s the Captain and …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs give up three goals in third period and lose to Jets – Rate That Leafs Game

I really don’t know what to say about this game. It was not good. At all.
The entire team could’ve played better in this one and the referees could’ve done a better job at calling the game. Alas, the Maple Leafs lose 5-2 to the Jets. They get three of six possible points against Winnipeg in this three-game series.
Frederik Andersen was a big talking point again in this one, where he allowed five goals. Some he could’ve saved, some he wasn’t to blame for. However, if he keeps following down this path, there could be questions regarding what the Maple Leafs should do right now. Heck, those questions are being asked by the fans right now.
I’m still deciding myself what to do in this situation, but a lot of people have made up their mind. I talk a little bit about it in my video, and here it is. Enjoy.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews ends it for the Maple Leafs – Rate That Leafs Game

Wow. What a game. Auston Matthews finishes it off with a beautiful goal in an overtime win for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Once again, Connor Hellebuyck had an amazing performance shutting out William Nylander on a number of chances, but did get one to go by the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
This was by far Nylander’s best game of the season and one of the best for the Maple Leafs. Being able to fight back after having the lead and then losing it shows how much they’ve grown in the past year. With the likes of Joe Thornton and Jason Spezza, Toronto has matured a lot.
And yet, for some reason, I have not because I’m dancing around with my computer chair in this video. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Who is the Juggernaut Jr. of the North Division?

The Leafs have had what they would deem a “slump” by dropping two games in regulation, and the fact that these losses came against a very bad Canucks team might lead people to panic. Those people would be silly. There are going to be off nights, and Auston Matthews is still recovering. The Leafs are safely the first place team in this division, and all the juggernaut jinxes in the world won’t change that.
That being said, I was curious this week, and decided to ask The Leafs Nation contributors who is likely to take the second place spot in the Scotia North Division and why. Here are their responses…
Michael Mazzei:
At the start of the season, I would have said that the Canadiens would end up in second. But as we approach the halfway point, it’s starting to look like it will be the Jets that finish there as they have separated themselves from the rest of the division as the second best team in Canada. I think they and the Leafs will be in a dog fight the rest of the way and the team that will be their biggest threat for the top spot.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, February 24th: The Hab Nots? The Juggernots? The Canadiaint’s?

What a week in hockey! We learned that the sun is Gary Bettman’s nemesis, Henrik Lundqvist defies odds, and the Habs are not, in fact, a juggernaut. We’re also dealing with a Leafs roster full of injuries, and Mike Babcock continues his attempted redemption tour…among other things.
Let’s dive in, eh?
Leafs Lads
The big story with the Leafs right now is how many of them are not playing. The injury list keeps growing, with Jake Muzzin, Joe Thornton, and Frederik Andersen as recent additions. Zach Hyman missed Monday’s game  – a super fun 3-0 loss against Calgary – but looks to be back tonight, thankfully.

Sheldon Keefe on #Leafs injured parties:
Zach Hyman WILL play tonight. Nic Petan out.
Everyone else is still out.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

We’re crossing our fingers and toes that most of these are not long-term, and thankfully it looks as though Freddie, at least, is not:

Sheldon Keefe asked whether Frederik Andersen’s injury is overly concerning, said it “doesn’t look that way” and “from what I’m told, he’s progressing well.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

Also hoping Jack Campbell can get back in the lineup soon, as we’ …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Raptor of the Week: Nick Nurse, master tinkerer and innovator

Raptor of the Week: Nick Nurse, master tinkerer and innovator

In what has been a very challenging week for the Toronto Raptors, head coach Nick Nurse needs to be given his roses for what was an exemplary job of coaching. Maybe because he’s been making stellar adjustments or maybe because he got ejected, willing the team into action vs. the Grizzlies, but the Raptors have put […]
Raptor of the Week: Nick Nurse, master tinkerer and innovator – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Introducing the new The Leafs Nation podcast: Channel 6ix!

You know what the internet needs? Another podcast.
Wait, no. You actually do need this podcast, because despite having a number of podcasts that go up on our site already, we’ve decided that we needed to have a super official site podcast that specifically involves contributors to this site, and deals with the content you regular see here.
It’s in that spirit we bring you Channel 6ix: A Toronto Hockey Podcast.
Hosted by Mer (@meroutloud) and Jon (@steitzerjon), we are hoping to bring you two podcasts a month featuring TLN contributors discussing their areas of expertise and appearing in roundtable panels. We’re also going to be bringing in guests to speak our their experiences in hockey and tapping into their knowledge and passion for hockey as well.
To launch our new podcast we’ve put together an Episode Zero. It’s your chance to hear about how Mer and I came to become Leafs fans, our plans for future podcasts, and we even managed to find time to talk some hockey as we recapped the Toronto Six debut in Lake Placid, a look at the rivalry with Montreal, and what to make of the Leafs injury situation. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation