Raptors: How does Joel Embiid’s injury impact Toronto?

Raptors: How does Joel Embiid’s injury impact Toronto?

The entire NBA world, Toronto Raptors fans included, had to hold their breath during the Philadelphia 76ers’ win against the Washington Wizards, as MVP-caliber center Joel Embiid, who has been riddled with injuries in his pro career, went down with what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury. Embiid is averaging just under 30 points […]
Raptors: How does Joel Embiid’s injury impact Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Top KHL Free Agents in 2020-21

The 2nd best hockey league in the world just wrapped up their regular season, 60 Kontinental Hockey League games for teams in Russia, Finland, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and China.
The usual suspects sit atop the league with CSKA Moskva and SKA St. Petersburg leading the West, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk tops in the East. That’s not what concerns North American teams though, their focus is on poaching the talent that elevates teams to the top of the KHL. Artemi Panarin is the most impactful example, finishing in the top 20 in NHL scoring each season since signing with Chicago in 2015.
In the 5 years or so since Panarin came to North America there has been plenty of other skaters to sign out of the KHL. Not all of them met expectations, or even played a game in the NHL. Still, the opportunity to land an NHL contributor for under $1 million is a massive incentive to scout the KHL. If it takes three tries to land a player like Ilya Mikheyev, NHL clubs should be willing to take three swings.
Before the NHL season started I spent a lot of time watching KHL games and highlights, and narrowed down a list …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest

Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest

The Toronto Raptors were the talk of the NBA world yesterday, as they absolutely slammed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Needing to take home a win against a poor Minnesota Timberwolves team, a gassed Raptors team gave them their best shot on the second night of a back-to-back. Fresh off the second night of […]
Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Ilya Mikheyev scores first goal of the season in Leafs win – Rate That Leafs Game

It really feels like we’re on top of the world, doesn’t it?
The Toronto Maple Leafs win yet again. This time defeating the second-best team in the North Division — the Montreal Canadiens. I’d say this was one of the tougher games the Maple Leafs have had this season and that was expected.
Josh Anderson scored first for the Canadiens before Toronto would score three-straight from Travis Dermott, Justin Holl and Ilya Mikheyev. Frederik Andersen had a shaky start, but finished the game smoothly. Auston Matthews continued his dominance, but not in scoring goals as the 23-year-old has points in 11th-straight games. Even Jake Muzzin wanted in on the action tallying three assists.
The Maple Leafs play Montreal again on Saturday, so you better be ready. I definitely am.
Here’s my latest video — discussing this game and what the Maple Leafs should do going forward. I hope you enjoy (and subscribe too).

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday February 3rd: Tony DeWaived – and other stuff, I guess

Did ANYTHING else happen in the hockey world this week besides Tone DeAngelo getting waived and the subsequent rumours and reports about the behind the scenes drama with the Rangers?
I mean I guess so but who can remember it when the Tony of it all is going on?
I’ll do my best to remind you of what else is happening, but don’t we all just want to know who really punched Tony D?
Leafs Lads
As always, we begin by focusing on our boys in blue, who have had a really great start to the season. They went on a 4 game winning streak and 5 game point streak, and Frederik Andersen is looking much more solid in net. Of course, we’re still dealing with some injuries, but Joe Thornton and Nicholas Robertson are back on the ice skating, which is a good sign!

#Leafs Ice Chips from @markhmasters: With the team not playing for a few days, Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson are skating and making progress in their recovery – https://t.co/qyLbP14xOO#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/EgXj4MW1vE
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) February 1, 2021

Of course, it is NOT great that Alexander Kerfoot did not …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs win over the Jets a reminder of what it looks like when Toronto’s game plan works

Is all right in the world again? The Leafs won, and they won on the strength of a Frederik Andersen performance in net. That’s something we haven’t seen this season, and it’s something that has been intermittent since November 2019. The Leafs looked good. We could point out that Patrik Laine was out of the lineup, as was Dylan DeMelo, but the Leafs needed the win and they got it.
The fact that it wasn’t a full Jets roster shouldn’t take away from the win, especially when you consider that the Leafs struggled to put together an honest effort against a lottery pick bound Ottawa team in their previous two games.

One of most lopsided periods you’ll ever see… pic.twitter.com/1hgpKLaS6a
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 19, 2021

The game ended with Mitch Marner and John Tavares tied for the league lead with six points in their first four games. The fact that there is a balance between the top two lines is certainly encouraging as well.
The Leafs win brought Freddie Andersen’s save percentage up from .839 to .881. He could be one game away from not being considered the problem anymore.
We were even treated …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Analyzing Leafs’ WJC performances

It has been quite some time since a World Juniors tournament has held so much intrigue for the Leafs and their fans, with six of the organization’s prospects taking part this year. It would have been seven had the Leafs elected to send Nick Robertson to play with team USA but the decision was made for him to remain in Toronto to put himself in the best position to earn a spot in the NHL lineup on opening night.
Considering Robertson’s proximity to the NHL, and just how impressive the Leafs’ prospects looked at the World Juniors, management has to feel good about how they’ve been able to restock the prospect pool in recent drafts. Two of their mid round picks from the 2019 draft were called upon to play in the tournament, and each of their first four picks from the 2020 draft also made the cut for their respective countries.
Topi Niemela – RHD – Karpat (Liiga)
The World Juniors were a coming out party for the Leafs’ 2020 third round pick as Niemela exceeded all expectations on his way to being named the best defenceman at the tournament. He played in all situations for the bronze medal winning Finnish …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ prospect Mikhail Abramov suspended one game by IIHF

Mikhail Abramov missed out on the first two games of the World Juniors for Russia as a healthy scratch and after a pair of impressive performances in Russia’s next two games, he will once again be forced to watch his teammates from the press box after being handed a one game suspension by the IIHF on Friday afternoon.

The IIHF Disciplinary panel has issued one-game suspensions to Mikhail Abramov (Russia) and Justin Volek (Germany). Story: https://t.co/0zNbovi9wf pic.twitter.com/DIcWba1bF5
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 1, 2021

Prior to a faceoff during the second period, Abramov lined up against Swedish forward Arvid Costmar and they had to be reset a couple of times, with Abramov knocking Costmar over prior to the drop of the puck on one occasion. When play did resume, Costmar and Abramov continued to battle off of the draw with Costmar tying up Abramov’s stick and managing to avoid a penalty call. Cleary frustrated, Abramov trailed Costmar into the defensive zone where he delivered a sneaky slew foot to the Vancouver Canucks prospect who did a good job of baiting Abramov into a poor decision.

Arvid Costmar (#Canucks) baits Mikhail Abramov (#LeafsForever) into an …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Leafs shining at WJC, Kral catches fire, Kara on the move

The NHL season is finally just around the corner and the World Juniors have been a great primer as the hockey world begins to look a little brighter. Leafs fans have been treated to some impressive performances by a few of the team’s newest prospects, and all of Toronto’s participants will have a chance to compete for medals as both Russia and Finland have looked strong through the preliminary round.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
For many Leafs’ fans, these first few games at the World Juniors have been the first real look they have gotten at the organization’s most recent first round pick. Despite a bit of a slow start, Amirov has been impressive and leads the Russian squad in scoring through the preliminary round with two goals and four assists in four games. On top of his offensive exploits, Amirov has been a strong defensive presence and a difference maker on the penalty kill for Igor Larionov’s team as well. His best game of the tournament so far came in Russia’s final preliminary round matchup against Sweden where he scored a goal and added two assists, including the primary assist …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The World Junior Tournament doesn’t really need fixing, but here’s one idea how to fix it

I think this year the World Juniors have fallen victim to being the only game in town and having an audience that wants the most exciting hockey they’ve ever seen at time when we’re feeling deprived.
The issue with the tournament seems entirely focused around the blowout victories, and lopsided matchups that go along with having teams like Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and for that matter Slovakia in the mix with the bigger six of Canada, United States, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Finland. Outcomes seem predetermined for half the games in the tournament, but it’s always been that way. The run up scores are the result of goal differential playing a role in playoff seeding, and seeding for future tournaments. It’s always made sense, it’s always been accepted, and it was something viewers previously either enjoyed or would simply change the channel on.
Of course this is 2020, and we’re going to react poorly to everything we can, and the simple joys of watching 20 year old Austrians get pounded into the earth invokes more criticism.
Fair enough.
That is ignoring that the Austrians want to be there. They want to play the best of the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation