Remember whose fault this really is: The Leafs

Remember when New York City put red stockings on the Statue of Liberty after the Red Sox snapped their 86-year championship drought in 2004?
Did you know that earlier that summer the city of Chicago put a Detroit Pistons jersey on the Michael Jordan statue outside United Center after the three-headed monster of Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups won the NBA Finals?
I mean, sticking within hockey, there was the time the Detroit Red Wings celebrated Claude Lemieux’s 1000th game played with a congratulatory jumbotron video.
You don’t remember any of these things? Oh. That must be because they never happened.
Which makes what happened with the CN Tower tonight all the more enraging:

Tonight the #CNTower will be lit red, blue, and white for the @CanadiensMTL who will go on to represent Canada’s hope for a 2021 @NHL Stanley Cup! pic.twitter.com/cEqsXqBefZ
— CN Tower/La Tour CN (@TourCNTower) June 8, 2021

I don’t know who calls the shots over at the CN Tower, but congratulations on making this city a punchline and giving Montreal something to forever hold over our heads: the night our biggest hockey rivals got to own our city’s most famous landmark.


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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors

B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors

When the Toronto Raptors released former lottery pick Cameron Payne before the 2019 season, it looked like his NBA journey was coming to a close, as he signed with the Shanxi Loongs in China shortly thereafter. Against all odds, he could end up back in Toronto during this Raptors free agency period, as he has […]
B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr.

Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr.

When Gary Trent Jr. was traded to the Toronto Raptors in the same deal that saw fan-favorite and expert marksman Norman Powell flipped to the Portland Trail Blazers, he knew that he had to hit the ground running to prove himself as a worthwhile replacement. Trent might have a similar style of play to Powell, […]
Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr. – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors draft: Kessler Edwards could be a second-round steal

Toronto Raptors draft: Kessler Edwards could be a second-round steal

The Toronto Raptors draft changed when they acquired two second-round picks in the Terence Davis and Matt Thomas trades, and Masai Ujiri could snag another franchise cornerstone with some deft footwork. Pepperdine might not be a breeding ground for NBA talent, but wing Kessler Edwards looks like a very tantalizing prospect. Playing under former Washington […]
Toronto Raptors draft: Kessler Edwards could be a second-round steal – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Another day, another meltdown

The losing streak has reached five games.

Remember when the Blue Jays won their first game of the Boston series earlier this week and then had a chance to get into first place in the American League East with another win? That feels like another lifetime. The team now has a 23-22 record.
Sunday’s game actually looked like a prime opportunity to end the skid. Hyun Jin Ryu took the mound and tossed a gem, allowing just a couple of earned runs over six-and-two-thirds innings. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Teoscar Hernandez reached on an infield single (which could have been scored an error) and then Randal Grichuk put the team up 4-2 with a bomb.
Charlie Montoyo opted to roll with Tyler Chatwood, who had allowed one earned run all season coming into the game, in the ninth inning to close things down.
And then everything went to hell.
Chatwood walked Ji-Man Choi and allowed Brandon Lowe to smack a single. He got Taylor Walls to ground out but then Brett Phillips made the score 4-3 with a single of his own. Chatwood then got Randy Arozarena to line out but then walked Yandy Diaz to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

William Nylander should take over the 2C role

It feels weird to be writing this article. When that collision happened last night, it took me right out of the game. I just didn’t really care about the result anymore, all I cared about was how John Tavares was doing. That was so much bigger than this game.
I can’t even get mad at any of the players. Sure, Joe Thornton made two big turnovers in the offensive zone that led to both goals for the Habs. Sure, Jack Campbell probably could have not left his crease, something that didn’t help one of the goals, and nearly gave the Habs another. But, I can’t fault any of the player’s decision making because they obviously had bigger things on their mind.
The reason why I’m writing this article is not because my mind immediately went to “how can we replace him adequately”. I’m writing this because amidst that game on Thursday, where I was sick to my stomach from anxiety, William Nylander’s play was one of the positive takeaways from that game that grounded me and took my mind off the stress I was going through.
Now, I will address the elephant …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto

Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto

When Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka left, the Toronto Raptors went from having a surplus of quality veterans to being conspicuously lacking, and this is a problem an uncharacteristic Raptors free agency spending spree can fix. To put things in perspective, the Raptors were asking two rookies (Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris), a rookie that […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

Playoff Preview: While it’s unlikely the Leafs will face the Jets, they might be the toughest North Division competition for Toronto

When we set out to do our playoff previews and look at the three other North Division playoff bound teams, the Jets were the interesting wild card in this. They were either going to continue to slide in the standings to the point where they would be facing the Leafs, or they would barely cling to the 3rd spot in the division and end up facing the Oilers and could fall victim to the Connor McDavid show, making this preview as useless as an air traffic controller in Winnipeg.
Still for the sake of thoroughness and recognizing that eventually Mike Smith will come back down to Earth and hard, it seems worthwhile looking at the Winnipeg Jets, a team I was crazy enough to pick to get past the Oilers despite things like this…

Prediction: Oilers in 5 over Jets pic.twitter.com/mni0MggjQ3
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) May 12, 2021

So that is an uphill battle. That doesn’t mean the Jets can’t pull it off, but they are the first test to see if Connor McDavid will continue scoring at a 1980s pace or whether having a Vezina caliber goaltender is enough to make up for the complete lack of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs have their schedule for the first round

We finally know when we’re going to see the Leafs play again after tomorrow night, and it appears they will be treated to almost a full week without a game. I’m reluctant to say week off, because I hope like hell they’ll be working most of the time (especially on the powerplay) but nearly a week without a game anyway. Here’s the schedule…

Game
Date
Time
Venue
Network

1
20-May-21
7:30 pm ET
Toronto
SN/CBC

2
22-May-21
7:00 pm ET
Toronto
SN/CBC

3
24-May-21

Montreal

4
25-May-21

Montreal

5
27-May-21

Toronto

6
29-May-21

Montreal

7
31-May-21

Toronto

So, a few things of note here. First up, the schedule was set up to make sure that both Saturdays during the first round will feature the Montreal and Toronto game instead of forcing Canada to spend their prime hockey night watching the Jets play the Oilers. Classy move by the league. The next thing of note is the back to back in series falls in Montreal on Games 3 and 4. I’m not sure this favours either side in any way, and it was one of the two opportunities to have the back to back fall in the same city and avoid travel. It also means …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 dark horse suitors in a Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade

Toronto Raptors: 3 dark horse suitors in a Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade

When Masai Ujiri didn’t deal Kyle Lowry at the NBA Trade Deadline, there were certainly a few eyebrows raised. The Toronto Raptors were slumping hard and were on the outside looking in from a playoff perspective. Ujiri stood his ground though and wasn’t willing to accept anything less than what he thought was equal value for […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 dark horse suitors in a Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ