Islanders hand Leafs their worst loss of the season: Game Highlights

It was a battle of the Ilyas between Sorokin on Samsonov on Tuesday night. The Leafs got an early lead but New York scored seven of the next eight goals. It was the most lopsided loss of the year for Toronto. Below are the highlights from the game.
Mitch Marner got the Leafs first scoring chance of the night. He weaved through the Islanders defence to create something out of nothing but Sorokin shut the door…

Marner wills his way to the net
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 21, 2023

Just over halfway into the first period Sam Lafferty opened the scoring. Timothy Liljegren’s point shot pinballed off him and Scott Mayfield and into the net. That’s Lafferty’s first goal in the blue and white. Bobby McMann picks up his first career NHL point as well…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 21, 2023

A few minutes later Sorokin put in his bid for save of the year. He reached back and absolutely robbed Erik Gustafsson with the paddle to keep the Isles within one…

Ilya Sorokin with a huge denial! ✋
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 22, 2023

Zach Parise tied it up 28 seconds into the second. Mayfield circled the net and his shot banked off Liljegren right onto Parise’s stick. Tough bounce for Ilya Samsonov on that one…

Just like that Zach Parise evens the score for the Islanders 👊
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 22, 2023

The Leafs nearly took the lead on a shorthanded break from David Kampf. Sorokin came out on top yet again…

Kampf gets a shorthanded break
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 22, 2023

Hudson Fasching broke the tie late in the second. Liljegren fanned on the breakout pass and next thing you know it’s in the back of the net…

two zero makes it two one
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 22, 2023

The Isles doubled their lead before th …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Rumours: A Gudas trade idea, goaltending, and the Atlantic arms race

Leafs Rumours: A Gudas trade idea, goaltending, and the Atlantic arms race

Between Pierre LeBrun yesterday and Elliotte Friedman today, we can certainly gather that the Leafs are still very much looking at a defensive upgrade. Where LeBrun was focused on the top of the roster and skill with the suggestion of Mattias Ekholm, Friedman’s targets for the Leafs are a bit more of the crash and bang variety:
Defence? Toronto isn’t left with much draft capital, so it’s either someone you can get for a late-round pick or a current defender goes in return. Radko Gudas and Scott Mayfield are two I’ve thought about, but their teams are in the race. Luke Schenn being held out indicates he’s priced out of their range. Generally though, teams believe there is a surplus of rental defence options and are betting costs soften.
So yesterday, Bennett Jull covered off the Scott Mayfield angle before we even knew it was a thing that could be happening. 
Scott Mayfield stands at 6’5, and weighs approximately 225 pounds. He is a sturdy, physical defenseman. He won’t overwhelm you with jaw-dropping Jacob Trouba like hits or overwhelming volume, but he can certainly clear a crease or win a board battle. He has an elite ability to block shots. Mayfield currently leads the Islanders in blocks with 121 (this would lead the Leafs as well), which puts him in the top 10 in the NHL. He skates decently well, and can more than adequately chip in offensively.
With Mayfield already covered off, we’ll move on …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Bobby McMann turned an AHL contract into an opportunity with the Maple Leafs

How Bobby McMann turned an AHL contract into an opportunity with the Maple Leafs

Three months ago, all that stood between Bobby McMann and his dream was an opportunity.
And now he’s got it.
On Monday, the 26-year-old was awarded the AHL’s Player of the Week honours after notching six points in his last three games with the Marlies. It was a sign that McMann was headed in the right direction though I’m not sure he knew where his path would lead him the next day.
McMann’s season began as it normally would: healthy, strong, and ready to take the next step in his career. Except three games in, it was put to a screeching halt because of a lower-body injury that kept him out for a month and a half.
“It’s always a battle for somebody who comes back from injury,” said McMann fives games after fully recovering. “But I think I’ve done a good job so far with not paying attention to it much and just disregarding it, and trusting that it’s there and it’s ready.”
The 26-year-old went on a five-game point streak after returning from injury, then was silent on the score sheet for three games before going on a scorching run again. This time, McMann went on a six-game point streak and his play climbed to new heights throughout it.
“He l …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Where Does Alek Manoah Stand Among Baseball’s Elite?

Back in July, I wrote about the similarities between Alek Manoah and Sandy Alcantara and how Manoah can use that blueprint to improve in the future. Now, nearly four full months later, Manoah’s first full season in MLB has come to a close. How did Manoah do in the last few months of the year, and where does he stand moving forward? Strap in. It’s time for a deep dive.

We’re not going to start with baseball. They say talk is cheap, but Alek sure gets his money’s worth. During his appearance on former Raptor Serge Ibaka’s show, “How Hungry Are You?”, Manoah called AL East rival Gerrit Cole the “worst cheater in baseball”, then went on to briefly discuss illegal substances, which he says Cole uses. His comments definitely didn’t go unnoticed by Yankees fans, who brought out their Twitter fingers to let Manoah know what they thought about him as a pitcher.

Alek Manoah’s ERA being over 3.5 next season is going to feed families man
— Ryan Garcia (In the Lab) (@RyanGarciaESM) November 21, 2022

It’s the offseason though, so Manoah had time for some Twitter fingers of his own, firing back with some emojis…

— MANOAH (@Alek_Manoah6) November 22, 2022

Talk may be cheap. But despite what Yankee fans may think, Alek Manoah’s next contract won’t be. Let’s get into the pitching, and take a look at Alek Manoah’s season by month.

With an ERA of 2.24 before I wrote my previous piece, and a 2.25 mark afterwards, Manoah was nearly exactly as good before and after. He certainly wasn’t on Sandy Alcantara’s Cy Young level, but he played incredibly well. His Fielding Independent Pitching, which takes defence out of the equation, hung higher than his ERA, but e …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation

Angels blank Blue Jays for second straight day, spoil anniversary of 1992 World Series team

Today’s game between the Blue Jays and the Angels included a day-long celebration of the 30 year anniversary of the 1992 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.

Multiple Blue Jays legends were recognized on the Sportsnet broadcast such as Dave Stieb, Mike Timlin, Joe Carter, Pat Borders and many more. All of those aforementioned names were spectators for an absolute duel between two of the MLB’s best pitchers in Alek Manoah and Shohei Ohtani. Unfortunately, they couldn’t celebrate a win, as the Angels defeated Toronto 2-0, shutting out the Blue Jays for a second straight day.
Both pitchers were on their game from the jump, as they both pitched to their strengths. Ohtani blew batters away with his 98+ mph fastballs and his wipeout splitter/slider, while Manoah had plenty of movement on his fastballs and sliders. They both also had to overcome long first innings by their standards; Manoah and Ohtani threw 25 and 28 pitches, respectively.
Their final lines were very similar, but the biggest difference was that Manoah was the first to blink as he allowed an RBI single to Luis Rengifo in the top of the 6th. The inning could’ve looked a little different had one play gone their way; with runners on first and second with no outs, Ohtani ground …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Best guesses at what the Rasmus Sandin contract could look like

It seems like the last thing standing between Kyle Dubas and vacation is the Rasmus Sandin contract. That’s not entirely true, but it could be what’s standing between Brandon Pridham and vacation. The Leafs very much established what they were looking for when Timothy Liljegren was signed to a 2-year $1.4M AAV deal, but it doesn’t seem to be what Rasmus Sandin has in mind. From the 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman suggested that Sandin would be looking for a deal similar to Adam Boqvist’s 3-year $2.6M AAV deal.
The truth could lie somewhere between the Liljegren deal and the Boqvist deal, or we could be looking at something completely different. Sandin is represented by Lewis Gross, who you will best remember from the William Nylander contract saga. So whatever it is Sandin wants, there is the potential that his agent will advise him to wait until December to get it.
Up until now, we’ve largely focused on what 2-3 year contracts would look like for Sandin, and when it comes to defensemen under the age of 24, the 2 or 3-year contracts are by far the most popular option. That shouldn’t exclude the possibility of a one-year, let’s come back to this next year when the Leafs have a money deal or the fact that Sandin could be looking for a locked-in long-term contract now. All three present different pro …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation