Leafs take on struggling Canucks in first post Clinchmas game

A place in the 2021 playoffs secured with last night’s victory over the Montreal Canadiens, the Leafs look to keep up the momentum and take the first step towards locking up the division crown when they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Toronto for tonight’s game.
Despite their inspiring victories against Toronto upon returning to play, the Canucks have found themselves sputtering since the Leafs left town, going 1-3-0 across four games, all against the division worst Ottawa Senators, with their 6-3 loss last night playing a factor into the Leafs waking up with that sweet little X beside their name in the standings.
A key storyline going into tonight’s matchup will be the impact of home ice. Home ice has proven pivotal in the season series thus far, with both teams going unbeaten in their own arenas. In order for the Leafs to pull the season series even (the Canucks are the only team that Toronto carries a losing record against this season, sitting at 3-3-1 across seven games,) they will need this trend to continue.
The Canucks series was a source of contention for most fans last week, with many arguing that the Leafs badly …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Second half flurry leads to huge win over injured Nets

Toronto Raptors: Second half flurry leads to huge win over injured Nets

With a healthy starting lineup for the first time since March 30, the Toronto Raptors were able to come away with a 114-103 victory against the Brooklyn Nets, extending their winning streak to four games while taking control of the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. Although the win comes against a depleted Brooklyn […]
Toronto Raptors: Second half flurry leads to huge win over injured Nets – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

With a win last night against the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors are in a three-way tie for the final play-in spot. For most fans, the recent two-game win streak has come as a surprise, as most Raptors starters are either injured or out resting. During this time, the likes of Paul Watson, Freddie Gillespie, […]
Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alaa Alarashi / Raptors HQ

News and Notes: Robertson cleared, Kokkonen joins the Marlies, and Andersen skates

The news doesn’t stop with the trade deadline, and it’s been a busy morning for the Leafs. Here’s a quick rundown of the events of Thursday leading into tonight’s game with the Jets.
Robertson cleared to rejoin the Leafs

Forward Nick Robertson has been cleared from the NHL’s COVID Protocol list and is available to re-join the Leafs this morning.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) April 15, 2021

Following yesterday’s unfortunate suspension of play for the Marlies, Nick Robertson was put into the NHL protocol because of his close contact with the team. It appears that the necessary testing has been done and Robertson is now able to rejoin the Leafs, which is quite fortunate because he’s an exciting addition to a lineup that is already missing William Nylander, and in a holding pattern waiting for Nick Foligno.
It’s likely that Robertson will be back with the Marlies once the Nylander and Foligno are with the Leafs, so this is his best opportunity to get in some quality NHL time, and it’s nice to see it wasn’t cut short.
Kokkonen to join the Marlies

Mikko Kokkonen will soon join the Toronto Marlies. The 2019 third-round …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: There’s always tomorrow, right?

Where do I begin with this one? As always, I was excited to watch a good ol’ hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, what really gets better than this match up? Well, it turns out a lot of things. I think the Leafs got the start time of this game mixed up, because they ended the first period trailing 0-2, and got outshot by the Canadiens 11-3. The Leafs woke up in the second and managed to bounce back with goals by Auston Matthews and John Tavares. But that didn’t last long as Josh Anderson helped his team regain the lead less than two minutes later. The Canadiens managed to hold on and score another in the third as they ended the game 4-2, and the Toronto Maple Leafs took the L.
Three Stars
3rd Star: John Tavares
Oh captain, my captain! John Tavares managed to tie the game up tonight after a very rough first period by the Leafs. His goal put some much needed energy and enthusiasm into the team, and it looked like the boys were going to make a comeback. They didn’t, but Tavares still had a decent game. …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs have pushed their chips in on Nick Foligno. What Does that Mean for the Club?

With the NHL Trade Deadline less than 24 Hours away, Kyle Dubas has made the biggest splash of “silly season” to this point with his acquisition of Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets (alongside Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks). In exchange, the Maple Leafs will send a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to Columbus, while also sending a fourth-round pick to San Jose to retain some of Foligno’s salary. As such, with both Columbus and San Jose retain 50% on Nick Foligno’s deal, the Maple Leafs will only be responsible for paying 25% of the salary remaining on the upcoming unrestricted free agent.

TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

Immediate reactions were divisive at best and combative at worst, as paying a first-rounder for Nick Foligno in 2021 appears expensive at a glance. While averaging over 18 minutes a night with the sputtering Columbus Blue Jackets, Foligno has a paltry 16 points, 7 goals and 9 assists, in 42 games played. There’s a lot more to this move than just the boxcar stats, however, and it’s worth trying to understand what the Maple Leafs not only see in …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

The NHL announces more changes to the Leafs’ schedule

With the Canucks forced to put their season on pause as the result of a COVID-19 outbreak within the organization, the schedule was surely going to be impacted by it. The NHL announced on Saturday those changes and they impact three Leafs games.

The @NHL announced today that, pending today’s test results, the @Canucks will re-open their facilities for practice on April 11, with a return to game play on April 16.
Schedule changes impacting 15 games in the North Division also were announced: https://t.co/wSSqW13IiK pic.twitter.com/15ubK3Urvp
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 10, 2021

These changes are as follows:

Toronto @ Vancouver on April 19th, originally scheduled for 10 p.m., will now start at 9 p.m.
Vancouver @ Toronto, originally scheduled for April 30th, has been moved to April 29th at 7:30 p.m.
Toronto @ Ottawa, originally scheduled for May 10th, has been moved to May 12th at 7:30 p.m.

When looking at the new tweaks to the schedule, the most obvious is the ending of the Leafs’ regular season being pushed back an additional two days. They were initially supposed to have their season conclude on May 8th against the Canadiens, but this further delays when they will …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

The bats don’t show up and the Blue Jays lose the rubber match

When you come into a game against a guy with a 135.00 ERA, you expect to score some runs. That didn’t happen. The Blue Jays lose the rubber match by a score of 2-1 and now sit at 3-3 on the season.

Things worth mentioning…

Hyun Jin Ryu got the start today and wound up with an incredibly unfortunate loss. He went seven innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and zero walks while picking up seven strikeouts. The only damage he really allowed was a solo dinger in the second inning and then the Rangers scored another run that inning largely because Vlad Jr. couldn’t scoop a ball at first. Long story short, Ryu pitched very well and didn’t deserve to have an L hung next to his name.
The only offence the Blue Jays mustered came when Marcus Semien smashed a solo dinger off of Matt Bush in the eighth inning. Otherwise, it was a limp day for the bats. Cavan Biggio had a great chance to bust things open with the bases loaded and one out but he grounded into a double play. Rowdy Tellez came up in the ninth inning with Joe Panik …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jack Campbell is making Leafs history – Rate That Leafs Game

With another win under his belt, Jack Campbell improves to 9-0-0 this season and ties the Maple Leafs franchise record for most consecutive wins. Does he make it to ten-straight?
Auston Matthews also scored two goals last night and now leads the Rocket Richard race with 27 goals this season. Does he win the goal-scoring title?
And finally, Jason Spezza, who’s a 37-year-old in the NHL, adds another point to his total this season (which is 21 points in 38 games). Is he the best veteran player in the NHL?
Happy power play goal day. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to keep up hot streak against slumping Flames

If there was ever a game with two teams going in different directions, this is it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently find themselves on a 5-0-1 stretch, or as Pierre LeBrun would call it, a “lossless” streak. In fact, the last time the Leafs lost in regulation was against the Flames, and also Frederik Andersen’s last game before his injury. And they haven’t just been getting by during this stretch, they’ve been outright dominating their opponents, with a 62.61% xGF% in that span. The last time the Leafs had a game with less than a 58% xGF% was March 14th against the Ottawa Senators.
The Calgary Flames have not been doing that. After a solid 3-1-1 start after hiring Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 2-7 and made it highly unlikely that they get into the playoffs, and extremely disappointing result for a team that was, on paper, the second best in the division. During that nine game stretch, they have a 46.85% xGF%, which definitely won’t cut it. They’ve struggled to find their consistency all season, and it’s a big reason why they’re 16-19-3 on the season.
Will that decide the outcome …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation