Tunesday: the Leafs beginning we kinda saw coming

Welcome everyone to the first regular-season edition of the Not Enough of Blue playlist! This one is short and sweet but encapsulates the fan feelings well. Beginning to the end of these first two weeks, the outcome was predicted by many. Everything is linked down below, so feel free to listen while you read!
After what felt like forever without fans and real cheering, the time has come for a new reality. Fans are back and their presence, as well as their energy, can breathe new life into this team. First up and representing our home opener we have Applause-Lady Gaga.

“I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause”

Morgan Rielly is ready to feel all the good feelings again. Truly I think we all live for the applause. We are 100% ready to see this team dominate, and they should be ready to hustle.
In the chorus, Lady Gaga sings,

“Give me that thing that I love (I’ll turn the lights out)
Put your hands up, make ’em touch, touch (Make it real loud)
Give me …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who could have a career year in 2021-22

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who could have a career year in 2021-22

For the first time since 2013, the Toronto Raptors were left watching the NBA playoffs from the sidelines after finishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference last season. But hope springs anew, and it’s not inconceivable to think the Raptors can get back to the postseason in 2022. On a team heavy on young […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players who could have a career year in 2021-22 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Brian Swane / Raptors HQ

When it comes to Mitch Marner it’s always complicated

When it comes to Mitch Marner it’s always complicated

After the first round playoff exit last spring it seemed all but certain that there were going to be some high expectations attached to Mitch Marner and a demand for him answering his critics. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened and instead Mitch Marner has put up just one assist in the first four games, while averaging 22 minutes a night. Supporters of Mitch will point to the fact that the first three games were played without Auston Matthews. Critics of Marner will point to the fact that he was still playing with John Tavares, and as an $11M winger, it’s not an absurd expectation that he produce some offense himself.
When it comes to offence, Marner’s one point in the first four games is already up there with his biggest regular season slumps. Last year the longest stretch Marner went without a point was two games, he’s already at a three game pointless streak. You would have to go back to February of 2019 to see the last time Mitch Marner went three games without a point, which points to the fact that he’s struggling now, but should also serve as a reminder that once he snaps out …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The TLN Three Stars: Shesterkin spoils Matthews’ return, Leafs fall to Rangers in OT

For the first time since what feels like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Leafs faced a non-Canadian team tonight, welcoming the New York Rangers to Scotiabank Arena. It was a refreshing break from the monotony of the last 66 games: while last season’s North Division had some initial charm and ignited some hostilities between Canadian franchises, it quickly became overkill playing the same six teams over and over again for months. Let’s honestly never do it again. Variety is the spice of life.
Speaking of the overdue arrival of Americans, the Leafs also welcomed Auston Matthews back to their lineup for the first time this season after wrist surgery, and boy he came to play.
Recap
Before we get into a recap, a quick disclaimer: I watched the first period on any extremely pixelated treadmill television while chugging through a 5k run, so my recollections of the first 20 minutes are hazy.
Toronto got an early opportunity to break the ice when William Nylander was high-sticked by Barclay Goodrow during the second shift of the game. Our first glimpse of the new-look powerplay featuring Matthews was encouraging as the unit zipped the puck around, opening Matthews up for …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Josh Ho-Sang’s debut, Nick Robertson’s injury

It was a great start but an unfortunate ending to the Marlies’ first two games.
The Toronto Marlies returned to Coca-Cola Coliseum on Saturday and Sunday, but this time, with fans. Welcomed back with a roar was captain Rich Clune as he stepped onto the ice. The second-loudest ovation, though, was given to Josh Ho-Sang, who came out right before Clune.
Entering Saturday’s game, Ho-Sang had played 178 AHL games. He was ready for his 179th, but I don’t know if he could’ve predicted this performance. The 25-year-old had two goals, playing alongside Nick Robertson and Kirill Semyonov.

Josh Ho-Sang scores his first on the #Marlies.
Toronto up 2-0. pic.twitter.com/r4o7emKYj3
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 16, 2021

The building erupted after this goal. It was nice to see the 25-year-old get the Marlies’ first goal of the season. Look at how happy he was.

Josh Ho-Sang with his second goal of the game.
You love to see it. pic.twitter.com/Wg5ZFFok3G
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 16, 2021

It seems as though Ho-Sang is feeling comfortable in where he is, which is at home.
“Great start for him. His work ethic today was great.” Said Marlies …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews returns as the Toronto Maple Leafs play an American team for the first time in over a year

For the first time since August 2020, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to play an American NHL team and they have their own star American returning to the lineup to celebrate the occasion. With Marner and Tavares being snakebitten through the team’s first three games of the season, failing to find the back of the net despite creating plenty of great scoring opportunities, the NHL’s reigning Rocket Richard trophy winner is arriving at the perfect time.
Despite the team’s first line struggling to score, the Maple Leafs still hold a 2-1 record thanks in part to Jack Campbell’s phenomenal netminding and some fantastic contributions from lower in the lineup. If players like William Nylander, Michael Bunting, Alex Kerfoot, and Jason Spezza can continue their hot start as Matthews looks to defend his goalscoring title, this Leafs team could get exceptionally dangerous very quickly with scoring threats on all four lines.
Their opponents tonight are none other than the New York Rangers, a team that Toronto recently usurped as the NHL’s most valuable franchise. After a shaky start to the season, the Rangers were able to grab their first win on Saturday in a 3-1 victory …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: Growlers Training Camp Opens

For the first time since March of 2020, the Newfoundland Growlers now officially have a roster of players.
The team has announced the initial training camp roster for the 2021-22 season and in addition to the seven players signed to ECHL deals last month the roster includes 11 AHL-contracted players from the Toronto Marlies (two of whom being St. John’s locals Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power), two players loaned to the team from the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, a local player (Kyle McGrath) on a Professional Try-Out, and newly un-retired Captain James Melindy.

#GouldsRulezhttps://t.co/P55Qu5ml4t
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) October 1, 2021

Aside from O’Brien and Power, notable players assigned to the Growlers from Toronto are goaltender Keith Petruzzelli, who will likely become the team’s starter in light of the unfortunate injury to Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott during NHL preseason, winger Jeremy McKenna, who TLN’s Nick Barden says has genuine NHL-upside and could become the Growlers’ leading scorer if he continues to make positive strides.
The third player of note is Noel Hoefenmayer, a 22-year old left-shot defenceman who played in 18 games for the Marlies last season and is projected to …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 trade assets Masai Ujiri could part with

Toronto Raptors: 3 trade assets Masai Ujiri could part with

For the first time in over nine seasons, the Toronto Raptors will be entering the season without Kyle Lowry, signaling a whole new era for Canadian basketball. After the team’s nightmare of a season that was riddled with COVID-19 issues, chemistry problems, and ultimately never playing a game at home, the Raptors never stood a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 trade assets Masai Ujiri could part with – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Chiu / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason

Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason

The Toronto Raptors returned to Scotiabank Arena for the first time in almost two years, and they punctuated an emotional night by handling the rival Philadelphia 76ers. This would’ve been impossible without some standout performances from some of the prospective bench players. While Scottie Barnes stole the show, and OG Anunoby helped lead the Raptors […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Josh Ho-Sang excited to make the most of his opportunity with the Marlies

Tuesday night was the first day of cuts for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But it was also a moment Josh Ho-Sang could hold onto for a long time. After spending most of the training camp with Toronto on a PTO, the 25-year-old finally signed a contract within the Leafs organization.
Ho-Sang signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday night.
“For me, I really wanted to be here.” Ho-Sang said after his first practice with the Marlies. “I have a lot of faith in Kyle Dubas and I have a lot of faith in this organization. To me, obviously playing for the Leafs is extrordinary, but what actually sold me on everything was the people here.“
The 25-year-old has been through a lot. Bouncing around between the AHL and NHL was tough, but then he was sent to Europe. And moving across the world may not have been the easiest either.
Earlier in Leafs camp, he spoke about the coach and GM on Linkopings HC in Sweden and what they did for his career. And now, he’s on a new path, and that’s to get back to the NHL.
“I think since last year, I was …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation