Breaking down five of the best goals from Matthews’ historic season with the Maple Leafs

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve left them.” -Andy Bernard, The Office
When Auston Matthews entered the 2021-22 season, many could feel that something special was about to happen. A full 82-game season ahead of him meant anything is possible, really.
I think there was always optimism that the 24-year-old would break the Maple Leafs’ goal record in a single-season, but you really can’t feel that energy until he’s close. As he approached the record, the hype around it became larger and larger. When Matthews finally did it, he blew by the record, scoring three goals in the next two periods (one in overtime vs. Dallas and two in the first period vs. Montreal).
He scores goals like it’s nobodies business.
That’s why I referenced the quote at the beginning of this article. We are witnessing history in the making and when that happens, some get caught up in it all (including myself) and don’t take in what’s really going on.
Make sure at some point throughout this historic season for both Matthews and the Maple Leafs to take a step back, look around, and just appreciate the greatness that we’re watching because this era will end as fast as it began.
Being mindful is what …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Auston Matthews sets Maple Leafs single-season goal record and his chase to 60, Mitch Marner’s MVP second-half continues

It was quite the special week if you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan because fans of the team, and even just hockey fans in general got to witness history as Auston Matthews tied and then set the new single-season goal record for the Toronto Maple Leafs. On top of history being made, the Maple Leafs had four games on their schedule last week and two of them involved two of the best teams in the league, both being in the Atlantic division.
The Maple Leafs finished a great week of hockey the week prior when they went 4-0-0 against Florida, Boston, Winnipeg, and Philadelphia, but to begin their week last week they had a tough back-to-back against Tampa Bay and Florida, both on the road. However, Toronto played two great games (minus the second half of the Florida game) against both teams and proved to a lot of people that despite them playing down to their competition a lot, they can hang with the elite of the elite among the league. Toronto opened their week on Monday night with a massive convincing 6-2 win in Tampa Bay that silenced the crowd as they dominated from puck drop to final horn.
Following a very impressive 6-2 wi …

Read More

Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Tunesday: High hopes, new energy and a great Leafs November

Welcome, all to our third instalment of Tunesday! If you’re new around here this is the article where I dissect 5-7 songs that describe how the leafs played In the two weeks prior, for this edition, it’s three. It is a companion piece to the Not Enough of Blue playlist which is available everywhere you stream your music. As always it will be linked at the end of the article. Keeping with the theme of our second edition it’s an overall good vibe. The Toronto Maple Leafs feel different this year and their play up until now has proved it. 12-2-0 in November, 7 straight road wins, another California sweep, this team is doing amazing things right now. Let’s take a look at some music that reflects that. 
 
Up first we have the classic that is Dream On – Aerosmith. This song in particular represents the tough times that Aerosmith once went through. So although they were just beginning and obviously not succeeding musically, not selling albums and such. This song was a way for them to hold themselves accountable. This was a way of saying hold on to the feeling and the passion that drives you, …

Read More

Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Diversity and inclusion in hockey: How Chanel Keenan and the Kraken are making waves

If you’re like me, you’ve been  excitedly watching the Seattle Kraken prepare to join the league officially. One of the most exciting parts of their establishment has been how openly committed they are to inclusion and diversity. So much so, that one of their first hires was a person responsible for just that. We’re very lucky to have had a chance to speak with Chanel Keenan about her role with the Kraken, and diversity and inclusion in hockey as a whole.
To start, tell us a little about you and your hockey fan experience.
I grew up around the game at a very young age. I am the youngest and only girl in my family. All of my brothers played hockey. However, due to my interests at the time and me having a physical disability prevented me from playing the game. I come from Dorchester, MA, the hometown of Leafs drafted legend Jimmy Hayes. By living in the Boston area, hockey is one of the bigger sports for us.
And explain for our readers who might not be familiar – what is your role with the Kraken? Can you also explain, beyond just the description, what types of …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Looking back on the best moments from the Blue Jays’ homecoming

If you’re a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s been a good couple of weeks.

After 670 days playing home games in Buffalo and Dunedin, the team finally returned to the Rogers Centre, something that the players seemed to have been every bit as excited for as the fans were. What followed was nothing short of magical. The Blue Jays won 9 of their 11 games on the homestand, sweeping the Royals in the opening series, then taking 3 of 4 from both Cleveland and the Red Sox respectively.
There’s an argument to be made that this was the greatest regular-season homestand in team history. I’m sure it’s far from the first time the team has taken 9 of their 11 games, but the combination of a playoff race heating up, and the fans getting a chance to see their beloved team for the first time in almost two years builds a pretty strong argument. 
I haven’t been able to get these last 11 games off of my mind, and based on the current state of the Blue Jays online community, it appears I’m far from alone. All I want is …

Read More

Author: Isaac Boloten / Blue Jays Nation

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs target Zach Parise and Ryan Suter?

If you’re a hockey fan, it’s the most wonderful time of the year right now, or at least one of them given that is it officially the NHL off-season and things are going to get very interesting in the coming weeks and months leading up to the next NHL season. This off-season is only days in and we have already seen some trades, some hirings, some retirements, some big rumours and even some buyouts.
It’s no secret that this off-season was going to be a crazy one due to a bunch of circumstances. For starters, the COVID pandemic is still affecting the league which is affecting the salary cap which is ultimately affecting teams to keep certain players on their team. Secondly, there’s an expansion draft just around the corner and with a new team coming into the league, teams are bound to lose potentially an important player on their team.
With that said, within days we’ve seen a bunch of different things happen in the NHL and more specifically we saw the Minnesota Wild buyout, not one, but two of the massive contracts that they signed back in 2012. The Zach Parise and Ryan Suter …

Read More

Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse has some adjustments to make next season

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse has some adjustments to make next season

If you’re thinking this is a “The Toronto Raptors should fire Nick Nurse” article, let me stop you right here. It’s not. Anyone claiming that Nurse’s seat should be anywhere close to hot after a season in Tampa that anyone would struggle in needs a head examination. We all know why Nurse is one of […]
Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse has some adjustments to make next season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Eddie Huband / Raptors HQ

Why the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 title will mean more than a Maple Leafs Cup

Why the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 title will mean more than a Maple Leafs Cup

I know, I know… you’re probably thinking  “Nope, there’s no way the Toronto Raptors will ever top the Toronto Maple Leafs in the city.” To a certain degree, you’re right. Toronto is and will always be a Leaf town, everyone knows that. It is an interesting hypothetical to chew on, however. The Leafs are heading […]
Why the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 title will mean more than a Maple Leafs Cup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Eddie Huband / Raptors HQ

The Maple Leafs Draft Pick Cupboard is Bare and That’s Okay: A Letter from a Draft Guy

 
Hey Leafs Nation,
It’s me, you’re favourite bald draft analyst. It’s been a busy week. The Leafs made a few trades to bolster their lineup. The additions of Riley Nash, David Rittich, Ben Hutton, and the key piece of the deadline, Nick Foligno will all go a long way to ensuring the Buds are good to go should injuries strike. The team added depth, a key piece, and an NHL calibre goalie who helps make sure things don’t go awry in the crease. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good deadline for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs. One thing that seems to be bugging everyone is the lack of draft picks going forward with just six picks in the next two drafts combined. As a draft guy, I have one thing to say about that. Who cares?
Hear me out. Of those six picks, they have their 2021 second-round pick as well as their 2022 first and second-rounders. That means most of their truly premium assets are still in the fold to add good talent or use them next year to bolster the roster again. As I explained before, this year’s first-round is …

Read More

Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

The Alternate Training Site lives on as Triple-A baseball’s start has been delayed by one month

Bad news if you’re a fan of the Buffalo Bisons — The Alternate Training Site will continue to exist for at least the first month of the 2021 season.

According to a report from ESPN, Major League Baseball has opted to push back the start of the Triple-A level season to early May. It was originally slated to begin on April 6, a few days after the start of the big-league season, but players will instead go to Alternate Training Sites like the ones from last summer for at least one month.
Here’s what MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations’ statement said…
“This is a prudent step to complete the major league and minor league seasons as safely as possible, and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon.”
With COVID-19 vaccinations quickly becoming available in the United States, MLB is ultimately strategizing to have non-big-league players wait around and practice so that they can receive the vaccine before embarking on the minor-league season. Both Double- and Class-A level ball had always been scheduled to begin in May this season.
Minor-league players are obviously in a more susceptible position to contract the virus, …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation