This Raptors-Timberwolves trade sends Chris Boucher to Minnesota

This Raptors-Timberwolves trade sends Chris Boucher to Minnesota

The Toronto Raptors were expecting big things from Chris Boucher this season, but he has taken some major steps in the wrong direction. Boucher has seen his shot-blocking skills evaporate while he struggles to find the offensive consistency that made him a valued commodity last year. The Raptors are starting to slide down in the […]
This Raptors-Timberwolves trade sends Chris Boucher to Minnesota – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs place Kirill Semyonov on unconditional waivers for buyout

After bouncing up and down from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies, it looks like Kirill Semyonov’s time with the organization is finished.

Kirill Semyonov is on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination. https://t.co/qCteTNtORe
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 1, 2021

The 27-year-old came to the NHL for the first time after spending his entire career in Russia. During his time in North America, he played three games with the Leafs where he didn’t register a point. Semyonov played in nine games with the Marlies, where he had nine points.

According to @MatchTV Kirill Semyonov is coming back to @hcavangardomsk in #KHL. https://t.co/JRGLWE3ulO
— KHL TALK (@vorkywh24) December 1, 2021

It’s not known yet as to why this move was made, but it looks like he’s headed back to Russia.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

How important are faceoffs in hockey?

Aside from the standard team stats like wins, losses, and goals, and the standard players stats like goals, assists, and points, faceoffs might be one of the most talked about stats in the game of hockey. You can’t go five minutes in a hockey game without the broadcasters talking about how the teams and players have done in faceoffs, and they always talk about how it helps a team get possession of the puck, and how it helps the team win.
But, is that actually true? Are faceoffs actually important in a hockey game, or are they just statistical noise disguised as a notable part of a hockey game? I decided to do a bit of a deep dive into how much they impact the game.
So, you may be wondering, how can you just simply find out the value of something in sports. Its actually a lot easier than you may think. You remember in math class when they made you figure out the equation of a line? That’s going to play a big role in figuring this out.
Now, this isn’t something I discovered on my own (I’m not that smart). I’m using …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: Top prospects called up but team keeps rolling

Welcome back to the second in-season Report from the Rock, the column of news and notes from the team at the top of the ECHL standings, the Newfoundland Growlers. I’m a day late on this one, so we’ll cover the stories that have come out of games 6-11 in this edition, let’s dive right in.
On Friday, the Toronto Marlies called goaltender and early-season MVP Keith Petruzzelli up to the AHL, I wrote about him and what the call-up means here, if you’re so inclined to check it out. Add that in to the recall of Noel Hoefenmayer last week and suddenly the team is without some of the bigger names in the prospect pool who have been honing their skills here in the ECHL.
I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, both call-ups are extremely well-deserved, as both Hoefenmayer and Petruzzelli had vastly outplayed the competition in their games as Growlers. However, while Petruzzelli’s call-up was also made in necessity due to the injury in net for the Marlies, I’m not sure if the early season call-up is the best move for the development of these players. Is Hoefenmayer …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

The Value of Starting Pitching

One could argue that full seasons from newly extended Jose Berrios, and returning rookie sensation Alek Manoah negates the need for a front-line starter for the Blue Jays. In 2021, One game separated the Jays from a post-season appearance and an early off-season. Recreating the twelve-win season from their starting rotation in 2021 and adding a win or two would put them among the top starting rotations in baseball.

Fangraphs projections place Berrios, Manoah and Ryu; the three penned in Blue Jays starters headed into 2022 at 8.5 wins. With two spots left open, The Jays don’t need to allocate a hefty portion of their budget to find the remaining 4 or so wins. What they really need are a couple of consistent 2 win pitchers who are paid like 2 win pitchers and have room to grow with a little Pete Walker magic.
Here are some candidates…
Jon Gray 
The 30-year-old long-time Rockie is entering free agency coming off of somewhat of a bounce-back season after a frustrating shortened 2020 campaign. He saw both his strike-out and hit rates return to normal and despite giving up more runs than I’m sure he would have liked, he performed admirably in a notoriously hitter-friendly park. MLB Trade …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

Nick Nurse’s refusal to adjust on defense isn’t very promising

Nick Nurse’s refusal to adjust on defense isn’t very promising

Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors went from one of the more promising surprises in the 2021-22 season to a completely disorganized mess that was one sensational Fred VanVleet performance away from losing seven consecutive games. A tough defeat against the Utah Jazz handed Toronto their sixth loss in seven contests following a 6-3 start. […]
Nick Nurse’s refusal to adjust on defense isn’t very promising – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Pros and Cons of removing Chris Boucher from the rotation

Raptors: Pros and Cons of removing Chris Boucher from the rotation

The Toronto Raptors were expecting big things from Chris Boucher this season given his tremendous 2020-21 season. Rather than continuing to hone his skills, Boucher has taken a massive step back, as his shooting percentages and defensive ability have gone right down the tubes. Boucher went from averaging 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks […]
Raptors: Pros and Cons of removing Chris Boucher from the rotation – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 11

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 11

The Toronto Raptors went from one of the hottest teams in the league to ice cold in just one week. A five-game winning streak was followed up by three consecutive losses, with a tough defeat against the Celtics serving as one of the worst performances this team has had this season. The latest Raptors odds […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 11 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Report from the Rock: Growlers undefeated through first five games

Welcome to the first in-season Report from the Rock, we’ll be recapping the headlines from the Newfoundland Growlers’ first five games of the 2021-22 season and analyzing some key members of the squad to keep an eye on.
As you see in the headline, the biggest story coming out of Newfoundland is that the team hasn’t lost a single game so far and a big part of that is the reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Month, Keith Petruzzelli, who put up two 35-save performances in his first appearances with the club. The 22-year old added a third win last night in the home opener to start off the month of November on the right foot.
Taking a look at the skaters now, forwards Zach O’Brien, Ryan Chyzowski and Marc Johnstone, as well as defencemen Noel Hoefenmayer, Brennan Kapcheck, and captain James Melindy have appeared in all five games, which is impressive considering the minutes these players have logged and the fact that the team’s opening road trip included games on three consecutive nights.
O’Brien has picked up right where he left off when the Growlers’ 2019-20 season ended, he’s a point-per-game player so far …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Scottie Barnes’ hot start put him in some elite company

Raptors: Scottie Barnes’ hot start put him in some elite company

The Toronto Raptors went from a team expected to tread water until Pascal Siakam returns from his injury to one of the most entertaining young teams in the league in a matter of weeks, and the primary catalyst for this change has been rookie sensation Scottie Barnes. Barnes has averaged 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game […]
Raptors: Scottie Barnes’ hot start put him in some elite company – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ