Pitiful third quarter in Thunder loss highlighted all of Raptors’ issues

Pitiful third quarter in Thunder loss highlighted all of Raptors’ issues

The Toronto Raptors picked up two very impressive wins against the Wizards and Bucks in the last few days, and they were probably licking their chops to take on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. After all, how difficult can it be to take down a team that just lost by 73 […]
Pitiful third quarter in Thunder loss highlighted all of Raptors’ issues – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio – Ep. 47: Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, Gerrit Cole’s spaz, Josh Donaldson’s ovation, and more!

Another series, another couple of wins for the Blue Jays! That’s the way it’s been for the past month-and-a-bit and the hope is that it continues as the Blue Jays head to The House of Horrors.

The Blue Jays got the job done this weekend, taking two of three from the lowly Minnesota Twins. Things started off ugly as Hyun Jin Ryu got knocked around on Friday but Steven Matz and Jose Berrios led the team to back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday, so all ended well.
We talked about Ryu’s struggles, the “injury” that landed him on the 10-day Injured List, and what to expect from him moving forward. We also talked about Matz’s excellent run and what it means for him in the off-season. Finally, we talked about the Blue Jays lineup and why it needs to involve Alejandro Kirk more often than not.
We then took a look at the out-of-town scoreboard and gave a hat tip to Cleveland, who did us a solid by beating the Yankees on Saturday and Sunday. We finished off by talking about the series ahead against the Rays at The Trop, a place that’s never fun …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jack Campbell wins 10th-straight and sets Leafs franchise record

Holy cow. Jack Campbell did the thing. 10 wins in a row to start a season. The first Leafs player to ever do it.
I don’t have many words other than “wow.” Campbell deserves everything that is coming his way after hearing about his journey to the NHL and all the battles he had to face. He’s an incredible person, the team rallies around him and again, he’s such an important person to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After the game, I thought about how I was going to open up my video, and well, I think I did a pretty good job. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Three wins in first five games for Toronto

Three wins for Toronto and three wins for Andrew D’Agostini through five games.
It’s been one week since the Marlies started their season in Winnipeg, facing off against the Manitoba Moose in four-straight games. It was a success to say the least and even though they took four of eight points, there was still a lot of good to look back on.
“In terms of our organization and where our details are within our system — it’s game four we’re gonna keep teaching, keep getting better and overall, if we’re looking back at these four games, the chances of eliminating the opponents here right now is pretty strong, and we have something to build off of.” Said Marlies Head Coach, Greg Moore after losing to Manitoba on Friday night.
But now they’re in Calgary, with the hopes of bettering their chances of winning a series instead of taking the draw. And after game one on Sunday, you could say they’re more confident now than ever before.
Toronto dominated in a game that finished 7-1 versus the Stockton Heat (who began their season on Sunday). There was a lot said going into this series about …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs hope to keep Alberta hot streak alive tonight in Edmonton

Following back-to-back wins against the Flames in the Saddledome, the Leafs find themselves travelling North for another two-game series at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The two franchises have already matched up twice against each other in this speed run of a season taking a game apiece and will now each be looking to take the season series lead against one another.
Hockey fans everywhere were surprised at just how underwhelming the first two games between Toronto and Edmonton were, especially with two squads that have been built around offensive firepower. That trend should look to break sooner rather than later however as each team has not only shown they can put up goals on command, but have also had growing concerns in net with injuries sidelining the backup goalies while their starters have looked inconsistent. To rub salt in the wounds, the two franchises have each also lost third-string goalies to waivers, an especially troublesome reality as Leafs and Oilers goalies have both put up season save percentages below .900.
For Toronto, the powerplay has been the driving force behind their early-season success. Converting at a staggering 41.7%, they’ll look to build off that trend against an Edmonton penalty kill that …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Lessons the Leafs Can Learn From the Tampa Bay Lightning

Every year, a team wins the Stanley Cup, and every other team decides to get in line to mold their team just like that team, because if it worked for the Cup winners, it’ll work for them, right? Meanwhile, there are always a few teams creating their own style, and those are usually the ones poised for success in the next few years.
However, I think there is a fine line between learning a few things to adapt your own strategies and vision, and outright copying the reigning Cup champs. This is especially the case for the Leafs with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the Lightning have often been a comparable team due to the skill both teams possess, so it might not be a bad idea to pull a few pages from their notebook.
So, here are few things that I think the Leafs could learn from the Lightning this season, that I think can be applied to the Leafs without drastically shifting from their own vision.
Don’t overreact to a disappointing playoff loss to Columbus
In 2018-19, the Tampa Bay Lightning shocked the hockey world by tying the NHL record for most points in the regular …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Jordan Romano has been placed on the 10-day Injured List

The Blue Jays pulled off one of their biggest wins of the season on Friday when Randal Grichuk smashed a walk-off homer against the Orioles, but there was also some bad news.

Jordan Romano, who left the game after recording two outs in the eighth inning, has been placed on the 10-day Injured List. Romano allowed a game-tying home run to Renato Nunez and appeared to have an issue with his finger.

Montoyo says that, when he went to the mound to see Romano on Friday night, he said his middle finger had gone numb. #BlueJays
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) August 29, 2020

We don’t yet know what the issue is as the Blue Jays are awaiting results on an MRI, but Charlie Montoyo said that Romano’s middle finger went numb.
This is obviously a really unfortunate break for Romano who has been arguably Toronto’s best arm out of the bullpen this year. Through 14 2/3 innings, Romano has allowed only two earned runs while racking up a whopping 21 strikeouts.
Hopefully it isn’t anything major, but, thankfully, the Jays have a lot of depth in their ‘pen to fall back on right now.
Some other …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Worst Leafs Trades Since 1967 Countdown – No. 1: Rask for Raycroft

Tuukka Rask is the all-time leader in wins among goaltenders drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Every single one of those wins has been with the Boston Bruins.

After the 2005-06 season, it was clear that the Leafs needed a new starting goaltender. Despite boasting a strong offence, poor goaltending was a key reason why the Leafs came up just short of making the playoffs in the first season after the lockout.
Father Time had clearly caught up with Ed Belfour, as the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer posted a .892 save percentage in 49 starts. Former top prospect Mikael Tellqvist clearly wasn’t the solution, as he had put together a .895 save percentage over 40 career starts. The de facto best option was journeyman J-S Aubin, who came in and put up a .924 save percentage in an 11-game heater down the stretch. But Aubin was a career backup, so buying into a small sample size like that obviously wouldn’t have been prudent.
Toronto had goaltenders in their system, but none of them were close to being ready to take over an NHL net.
There was Justin Pogge, Toronto’s third-round pick from the 2004 draft. Pogge was coming off …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Grades from Toronto Raptors’ tight victory vs Sacramento Kings

The Toronto Raptors made it three wins in a row as they knocked off the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. How did everyone grade in the win? After a rough start to their west coast road trip, the Toronto Raptors are rolling with three straight wins after knocking off the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. […]
Grades from Toronto Raptors’ tight victory vs Sacramento Kings – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Leafs Postgame: Martin Marincin saves the day

After two big wins in the state of Florida, the Leafs looked to keep the streak rolling against the Vancouver Canucks on a rare Saturday night Leap Day showdown. While it’s not a four point game like it was in Florida, every point matters, so the Leafs look to get another win under their belt.
Another weak start, but strong finish for Freddie
Much like Thursday night, Andersen had us screaming at our TVs asking Sheldon Keefe to finally give him the mercy pull after allowing two goals on three shots.
But clearly we didn’t learn anything from the game against the Panthers, as Freddie stopped the remaining 24 shots he faced in the game. It’d be nice for him to finally start a game on time, but we’ll take even the slightest return to form over what we’ve had for the last three months.
He also made an incredible pass to Nylander, unfortunately not for a goal though.

What a pass by Andersen to Nylander pic.twitter.com/fSjNKYmFdV
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 1, 2020

The Matthews line continues to thrive defensively
It seems like just yesterday we gave up all hope …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation