Maple Leafs take on Rangers in a battle of surging hot teams

The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers each find themselves on a four game winning streak, with both teams sitting only two points out of first place in their division. As the two franchise’s play each other tonight, each one will look to keep that momentum alive and make up some valuable ground on their division leaders as we approach the quarter mark of the season.
The Leafs recent winning ways go past these recent four games as well, with the team having won nine of their last ten, quickly changing the narrative from fans and media alike after a sluggish start to the season. It’s not just the fact the team is winning that’s changing the narrative either, but also how they’re doing it. Unlike previous seasons where Toronto seemed to only have one possible win condition (coming out on top in a high scoring affair), the 2021/2022 edition of the franchise seems to have added a few tricks to their playbooks, winning low scoring games, grinding out late comebacks for an OT win, and physically dominating an opponent as they did during Tuesday’s contest out-hitting the Nashville Predators 31-22 despite the Maple Leafs …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Oh boy, the Yankees have acquired Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo

The New York Yankees are going all in.

On Wednesday, the team acquired slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers in exchange for a fairly underwhelming package of prospects. Today, they continued adding to their lineup, acquiring Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs.

Source confirms: Anthony Rizzo headed to Yankees. First: @JackCurryYES.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2021

New York’s season has been a nightmare so far. The team sits 53-48 after getting smashed by the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 14-0 on Thursday afternoon. They’re nine games back of the Boston Red Sox for the division and they’re three games back of the Oakland A’s for the second wild-card seed.
The team’s struggles have largely come down to a pretty limp-dick offence as this year’s rendition of the Yankees looks nothing like the scary lineup we’ve seen in previous years. New York has the sixth-fewest runs per game in baseball, ahead of only the Cardinals, Marlins, Mets, Rangers, and Pirates.
Adding both Gallo, who has a .223/.379/.490 slash line, and Rizzo, who has a .248/.346/.446 slash line, is obviously a game-changer for New York’s righty heavy lineup, which had previously featured Rougned …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

No matter how this series in Boston goes, it’s difficult to justify the Blue Jays being sellers

This weekend’s series against the New York Mets perfectly encapsulated the overarching experience of the 2021 Blue Jays thus far.

The team got shut down by a rookie starting pitcher on Friday and then they followed that up on Saturday by blowing up for 10 runs. Saturday’s game appeared to be a game-changer for Toronto’s momentum, as a new-look lineup injected life into the bats and George Springer fired up the team with arguably the best catch we’ve seen this season.
Then, on Sunday, they gave it right back. Ross Stripling had a solid start, the bats came through with a three-run rally in the sixth inning, and then the bullpen went ahead and did what it’s done so, so, so many times this season, melting down immediately after. To put a bow on top, the team flirted with a comeback late in the game but ultimately failed to do so.
One step forward, two steps back.
Since coming out of the All-Star break at full speed and kicking the shit out of the Texas Rangers in a three-game sweep, the Blue Jays have dropped four of five. They now sit 49-46, a distant nine-and-a-half games back …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

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

We’re two weeks into the season and Yankee fans have snapped

The New York Yankees are dead last in the American League East. Their fans are pissed.

After getting walked off by Bo Bichette and the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon, the Yanks went home with a forgettable 5-7 record. Next up, they faced the Tampa Bay Rays, another pesky divisional opponent that they need to beat in order to take control of the American League East.
That didn’t happen. The Rays took a 2-0 lead off of opener Nick Nelson and then a comedy of errors led to Luis Cessa allowing four runs, only one earned, in a disastrous fifth inning. The Yanks bats were able to get virtually nothing going off of Michael Wacha, and, by the time the eighth inning rolled around, their fans let the team know how they felt.

Fans at Yankee Stadium stopped play by throwing several baseballs into the outfield pic.twitter.com/VHof1Fc2vN
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 17, 2021

Fans at Yankee Stadium are throwing baseballs onto the field.
Stop this nonsense and act like adults. pic.twitter.com/Mn8XvyBy7w
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) April 17, 2021

In the eighth inning, a collection of fans in the outfield starting launching balls on the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Why Pascal Siakam struggling against Julius Randle and the Knicks is concerning

Toronto Raptors: Why Pascal Siakam struggling against Julius Randle and the Knicks is concerning

The Toronto Raptors fell to Julius Randle and the New York Knicks in agonizing fashion, and the subpar play of power forward Pascal Siakam was singled out as the main reason that Nick Nurse’s squad lost. Siakam, who took a night off when Toronto stomped the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, totaled 16 points and seven […]
Toronto Raptors: Why Pascal Siakam struggling against Julius Randle and the Knicks is concerning – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Updates on George Springer and J.T. Realmuto

The New York Yankees finally started making moves this week.

The team re-signed DJ LeMahieu to a six-year contract worth $90 million, which always seemed inevitable, and then they dipped into the free-agent pitching market and added two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber on a one-year deal.
The Blue Jays apparently made a four-year, $78 million offer to LeMahieu but he unsurprisingly took a larger offer to stick around in New York. It seems as though the Blue Jays were ultimately just a bargaining chip by LeMahieu’s camp to raise the Yankees’ offer, but I don’t think missing out on a 32-year-old whose best offensive production has come at Coors Field and Yankee Stadium is a bad thing.
And then there’s Kluber, which is a more frustrating one to miss out on. The Yankees are only paying Kluber $11 million in 2021 and they got themselves a starter with some major upside. That being said, this addition does likely indicate that both Masahario Tanaka and James Paxton will be playing for new teams next season.
Anyway, with LeMahieu off the board, the focus shifts to George Springer and J.T. Realmuto, the top two free agent position players left.
According to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Does the Mets’ acquisition of Francisco Lindor make the Blue Jays the frontrunner for George Springer?

As we know, the New York Mets made their first big splash of the Steve Cohen era, acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland in exchange for a collection of magic beans.

This was obviously really, really disappointing for Blue Jays fans, as many of us had assumed that Lindor would soon end up a Blue Jay. Now that we know that isn’t going to happen, it’s on to the next one.
We’ve heard reports over the past few weeks that the Blue Jays and Mets are the two finalists for George Springer, the top outfielder on the free-agent market. Given the fact the Mets just added a significant amount of payroll with Lindor and Carrasco, logic would indicate that the Blue Jays are now the frontrunner for Springer.
Over at SportsNet New York, Andy Martino points out that the Mets are aiming to stay below the $210 million luxury tax, meaning they’re not likely to sign Springer…
With Lindor on board, the Mets are less likely to sign Springer. Here’s why: The team will not exceed the $210 million luxury tax threshold this offseason. We’re not sure where the notion came from that money …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It looks like the New York Mets have acquired Francisco Lindor

The New York Mets have finally made their move.

According to Jeff Passan, the team has a trade in place with Cleveland to send star shortstop Francisco Lindor to The Big Apple.

If the Francisco Lindor-to-the-Mets deal is completed as expected, shortstop Andres Gimenez would be part of the package going back to the Cleveland Indians, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021

More to come!

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

King in the North: Lundqvist to the Leafs?

Could the end of one era in New York be the start of a new one for Toronto?
Yesterday morning, the New York Rangers announced that they would be buying out the final year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract, bringing an end to his 15 year tenure with the boys on Broadway. The man they called King Henrik leaves New York with his legacy cemented. He’s the franchise leader in both wins and shutouts, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Lundqvist’s career .918 save% is the best for a goaltender in Ranger’s franchise history, with six of the top ten seasons in terms of wins, and five of the top ten in terms of save% belonging to him as well. He was nominated for five Vezina Trophies (and one Hart), winning the goaltender of the year award in 2012. The Stanley Cup may have eluded him and the Rangers, but his legacy is unquestionable. He’s the best to ever do it for New York, and one of the best to ever do it period.
So naturally, we must ask ourselves…how does this affect the Leafs?
Following an early exit from The Bubble at the hands …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation