The TLN Three Stars: They all deserve stars, what’s not to love about this team?

After an exciting 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night and a very rare Saturday night off, the Toronto Maple Leafs made their way to the Honda Center as they looked to take to take on the Anaheim Ducks to close off their road trip. As the puck dropped for the first, both teams had a lot of good chances and the energy was high on both ends of the ice. Auston Matthews opened up scoring in the second period, followed by another from Michael Bunting just a few minutes later. As the puck dropped for the third, Alexander Kerfoot wasted absolutely no time and added another to the tally, making it 3-0 just 17 seconds into the period. The Ducks eventually got one on the board as Hampus Lindholm got the puck past Jack Campbell later on in the third period. William Nylander was able to add an empty-netter, and they weren’t done there as Wayne Simmonds scored another less than 20 seconds later making it 5-1, and the Leafs ended the night and their road trip with a big win.
3rd Star: Michael Bunting
With a beautiful goal (and an assist!) in the second period, Bunting …

Read More

Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from difficult defeat against Warriors

Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from difficult defeat against Warriors

The Toronto Raptors picked up a feel-good win against the Kings on Friday night, but it seemed like they were about to be in for yet another defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Sure, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet helped this team bludgeon the lowly Kings, but could they beat the 14-2 […]
Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from difficult defeat against Warriors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Calling the rulebook will result in a hellish short term spike in powerplays, but it will be worth it in the long run

One of the weirdest arguments I’ve ever seen against calling the rulebook is that it will result in more powerplays, as if it’s a bad thing that teams will be on the man advantage more. Sure, nothing beats high octane, back and forth chances at even strength, but it’s not like watching one team’s five best players go up against another team’s four best defensive players is a terrible situation. If the team has a good powerplay unit that can create a ton of scoring chances, it’s another incredibly entertaining form of hockey.
There’s been talk for many years about NHL referees calling the rulebook, a conversation that reached it’s peak last season when now “retired” referee Tim Peel had a hot mic when he said that he intentionally called a weak penalty on the Nashville Predators to even up the penalties with the Detroit Red Wings, and it’s started to spike up again with Connor McDavid recently talking about how he should be drawing more penalties.
That said, unless there is a drastic overhaul in the league, from the refs to the league head offices, it’s really hard to …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Winners and losers from difficult defeat against Jazz

Raptors: Winners and losers from difficult defeat against Jazz

The Toronto Raptors would’ve been underdogs against a quality Utah Jazz team with everyone healthy, but Nick Nurse and the rest of the squad were dealt a concerning blow before the game when OG Anunoby was ruled out due to a hip injury. Calling this a recipe for disaster would be an understatement, even with […]
Raptors: Winners and losers from difficult defeat against Jazz – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Campbell earns third shutout of the season in his 100th career game as Maple Leafs blank Predators

After coming off a back-to-back on the weekend against the Calgary Flames and the Buffalo Sabres where they picked up four out of the possible four points, the Toronto Maple Leafs were back in action tonight hosting the Nashville Predators for the first time in quite a while. These two teams were set to play one another on March 12, 2020, just one day after the NHL season, along with basically every other spot in the world shut down due to COVID.
There were some lineup changes ahead of tonight’s game, including Wayne Simmonds and Travis Dermott inserted back in the lineup for Kirill Semyonov and Timothy Liljegren. The first period was a great period for the Maple Leafs. They had a lot of quality scoring chances, got a couple of power-plays – they even scored on one – and just all-around outplayed the Predators in the first 20 minutes.
The second period pretty much started how the majority of the first period went for the Maple Leafs. They continued to apply a lot of pressure on the Predators and hemmed them in their own zone for a couple of shifts in a row but couldn’t seem to score any of their chances …

Read More

Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to prey on Predators

The Leafs enter Tuesday night’s matchup against the Nashville Predators as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, having collected 16 of a possible 20 points over their last ten games. Their 8-2-0 record over those ten games matches the Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knights for second-best in the league, behind the *checks notes* 8-1-1 Nashville Predators?!
Yes, Nashville is on a tear but then again so are the Leafs, which should make tonight’s matchup an intense one. In each of their last ten games, here are how the stats for these two teams match up:
Metric
Toronto
Nashville
Goals For
31
31
Goals Against
23
22
Powerplay %
32.0%
26.9%
Penalty Kill %
88.5%
81.6%
Shooting %
9.2%
12.2%
Save %
92.7%
93.0%
PDO
101.9%
105.2%
Nashville is definitely riding a bit of luck right now based on a very high shooting percentage. These sorts of things happen throughout a season and the Leafs just need to hope the Predators come down to Earth just in time for their matchup. Jack Campbell may be exactly what’s required to put a stop to that.
Opposition players to watch would be Matt Duchene and Roman Josi. During this ten-game streak, Duchene is third in league scoring with 15 points with Josi not far behind in ninth …

Read More

Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Fred VanVleet trolled Sam Cassell with awesome celebration

Raptors: Fred VanVleet trolled Sam Cassell with awesome celebration

The Toronto Raptors mounted a sensational comeback against a quality Philadelphia 76ers team on Thursday night, as Fred VanVleet was able to keep the offense afloat in the fourth quarter and hit enough clutch shots to send Doc Rivers and Sam Cassell home with another loss. The play of the game was VanVleet hitting an […]
Raptors: Fred VanVleet trolled Sam Cassell with awesome celebration – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Motivation from Gary Trent Jr. hyped up Scottie Barnes

Raptors: Motivation from Gary Trent Jr. hyped up Scottie Barnes

After laying an egg against the Wizards in their home opener, Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors rebounded with a dominant victory against the rival Boston Celtics. Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. were the two top offensive performers in what was one of the worst home losses in years for Boston. While Trent scored 20 […]
Raptors: Motivation from Gary Trent Jr. hyped up Scottie Barnes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Win vs. Celtics proves Scottie Barnes is a ROY favorite

Raptors: Win vs. Celtics proves Scottie Barnes is a ROY favorite

The Toronto Raptors decided against bringing No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes along slowly, as Nick Nurse inserted him right into the starting lineup during their first two games. Barnes had a tough matchup in front of him against Jayson Tatum and a motivated Boston Celtics team, but he didn’t look flustered in the slightest. […]
Raptors: Win vs. Celtics proves Scottie Barnes is a ROY favorite – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Making sense of the Leafs’ recent drop in attendance

On Monday night, the Leafs played a game against an American team for the first time since Game 5 against the Blue Jackets. It was an exciting affair where they dominated from start to finish and included Auston Matthews’ return, but they were undone in overtime by the Rangers’ star Artemi Panarin.
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of that game was the emergence of a new trend to begin this season: the Leafs have yet to record a sellout at Scotiabank Arena.

18,098 at Scotiabank Arena tonight. Maple Leafs yet to sell out a game this season.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) October 19, 2021

To put into perspective the percentage of tickets sold for the first three games, the Leafs had a 98.3% capacity for their season opener, 96.8% for Saturday’s game, and 96.2% for their most recent contest. By comparison, the majority of American teams have been posting strong attendance numbers while every other Canadian team (with the lone exception being the Canadiens) has not had a sellout crowd.
Upon first glance, this drop in attendance could be a result of a few key factors.
There is the obvious one of the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on and there are several fans who remain hesitant to …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation