1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors low-scoring loss against Grizzlies

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors low-scoring loss against Grizzlies

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors came into Tuesday night’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies looking for some positive momentum, as this team has lost nine of their last 12 contests. Playing without OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. made the task of picking up the victory even more difficult. This game could not have […]
1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors low-scoring loss against Grizzlies – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors thrilling comeback win against Grizzlies

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors thrilling comeback win against Grizzlies

Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors came into tonight’s matchup against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies with almost no momentum. In addition to players like OG Anunoby missing this game due to injuries, they were fresh off getting demolished by the Warriors in San Francisco. Gary Trent Jr. and friends started sluggishly once again. […]
1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors thrilling comeback win against Grizzlies – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors coach Nick Nurse backs Scottie Barnes amid tough stretch

Raptors coach Nick Nurse backs Scottie Barnes amid tough stretch

Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes came into the league with such a shocking degree of bombast that it looked like he would never slow down. However, as Nick Nurse and the Raptors have hit the skids amid a rough losing streak, Barnes’ production hasn’t necessarily been as impressive as it was in his first handful […]
Raptors coach Nick Nurse backs Scottie Barnes amid tough stretch – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 3 early-season predictions the media got completely wrong

Raptors: 3 early-season predictions the media got completely wrong

The Toronto Raptors came into the season with the expectation of being a team that was retooling. Even Masai Ujiri thought that a roster melding championship holdovers like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet with young players like Scottie Barnes would experience some growing pains. After nine games, that hasn’t necessarily been the case. Toronto has […]
Raptors: 3 early-season predictions the media got completely wrong – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Has Fred VanVleet been doing enough on offense?

Raptors: Has Fred VanVleet been doing enough on offense?

The Toronto Raptors came into this season looking like a completely new team with a bunch of additions from the offseason. Still, the Raptors are also missing their star in Pascal Siakam, and it was evident that Fred VanVleet would be leading this young team. VanVleet was required to really take the next step on […]
Raptors: Has Fred VanVleet been doing enough on offense? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Sai Pirapakaran / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio – Ep. 52: The 2021 Blue Jays Eulogy

This one was a doozy!

Me, Tyler, and BK sat down and each came up with our own ‘three up, three down’ from this year as a way to look back on all of the good, bad, and everything in between from the 2021 Blue Jays season.
We talked about the good stuff, like Vladdy’s breakout season, the value of Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray’s one-year contracts, Alek Manoah becoming The Big Man out of the blue, the home run jacket being insanely cool, and the amazing homecoming to Toronto in July.
We also talked about the bad stuff, like the chaos that was the early-season bullpen, the ugly losses that ultimately cost the Blue Jays a playoff spot, Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, George Springer’s injuries, and the current MLB schedule and post-season format.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #17 Ilya Mikheyev

Ilya Mikheyev came into the Leafs’ organization as a relative unknown after signing as an undrafted free agent out of the KHL in the 2019 offseason. It didn’t take long for him to endear himself to the Leafs faithful, however, due in large part to his up-tempo style of play and his famous plea for more soup during his early days in Toronto.
His strong play prior to a scary injury that derailed his rookie season brought on increased expectations for Mikheyev in the 2020-21 season but he was unable to take a step forward in terms of his offensive production. Following a bit of a down year, an offseason that saw the Leafs add multiple depth forwards to the roster, and a trade request spurred by frustration with his usage, Mikheyev lands at #17 on our countdown.
Five Interesting Stats
5v5 TOI/GP
ixG
ixG (Penalty Kill)
Sh%
5v5 GA/60
12:02
11.28
1.71
6.54%
1.75
Mikheyev’s complaints about his role and ice time don’t hold much water when you consider that he played the seventh most minutes at 5v5 among Leafs forwards (excluding Nick Foligno who played just seven regular season games with Toronto) but his concerns likely stem from his lack of …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Marlies report cards: Forwards

The Toronto Marlies 35-game season came to a close on May 20th. It was an eventful last few weeks as the team played their final 13 games in the last 20 days of their season, due to AHL COVID-19 protocols.
No playoffs, no Calder Cup — nothing.
I’d suppose the correct word for this season was bizarre, but I don’t even think that’s the right word — let’s just say it was an unorthodox year. The Leafs’ AHL affiliate finished fourth in a five-team Canadian Division with a 16-17-0-2 record.
As it is now the end of their season, that means it’s report cards time.
Throughout this article, I’ll be grading many of the forwards who played for Toronto this season, which will involve the rookies, veterans and some late newcomers who joined the team this year.
The Toronto Offense – B
The team had an up and down season which brought a lot of adversity to the hockey club. There were some stretches that had them look like one of the best teams in the AHL, and then other times where their inexperience appeared a little bit. For a lot of the season, Toronto’s lineup …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Nation Network World Under-18 Medal Round Recap

Well, that was fun. The World Under-18 Championships came to an end last night in a great gold medal game that saw Canada and Russia renew their rivalry for world supremacy, at under-18 hockey. Canada faced off against Sweden in their semi-final and handled them quite easily, although not as easily as their 12-1 win in the round-robin. With super-prospect Connor Bedard leading the way with a hat trick, goaltender Ben Gaudreau making 16 of 17 saves, and captain Shane Wright, the Canadian kids blew out the Swedes 8-1. It’s not often you can blow out a team twice in the same tournament but it’s not often that the Canadian roster is as loaded as this one is.
In whats become the norm in Group B, the other semi-final was much more dramatic. The Russian squad, powered by their own super-prospect Matvei Michkov, looked to be one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the tournament. Having played the Finns in the round-robin – Russia’s sole loss at the U18s – they knew what to expect. With a pair of goals from captain Nikita Chibrikov and Ivan Miroshnichenko, as well as Michkov pitching in, the Russian team went up 6-3 …

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Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

Alek Manoah’s Triple-A debut was insane

Alek Manoah’s last professional game came in August of 2019 for the Rookie League Vancouver Canadians.

After spending last summer at the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site, Manoah skipped pretty much the entire minor leagues and was placed on the Triple-A Bisons to start the 2021 season. If there was any worry Manoah wasn’t ready for this level of competition, he erased them in his debut.
Manoah went six innings scattered just two hits and collected a whopping 12 strikeouts. As impressive as Nate Pearson’s eight strikeouts were back on Tuesday, this was really something else.

A dozen will do for #Bisons @Alek_Manoah47 pic.twitter.com/qUcubokHLK
— Buffalo Bisons🦬 (@BuffaloBisons) May 7, 2021

Manoah was really good for the Blue Jays in spring training and he prompted a whole lot of “CALL HIM UP” sentiments from fans. I really don’t think he’s all that far away from contributing at the big-league level. We could see a Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Robbie Ray, Manoah, and Steven Matz starting rotation in a few months.
Some other minor-league stuff of note from Thursday…
The Thunder-Bisons put up 10 runs on Boston’s Triple-A team and are now 3-0 on the season. There …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation