Samsonov shines as Avalanche top Leafs in shootout: Muzzy’s Muzing’s

Not sure anyone saw that type of game coming.
Nathan MacKinnon notched the shootout winner as Colorado edged Toronto 2-1 on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena.
With the loss in the skills competition, the Leafs fell to 1-1-1 on their four-game homestand. By far, it was one of the best efforts in recent memory for Ilya Samsonov. The 26-year-old Russian netminder, who’s now a ridiculous 17-2-2 on home ice this season, made 28 stops. Alexandar Georgiev turned aside 17 shots to improve to 30-14-5.
Believe it or not, all the scoring took place in the first period. Morgan Rielly potted his third and Mikko Rantanen responded with his 43rd on the power play. From there, both teams, thanks to some steady defensive play and goaltending, locked things down.
Toronto went 0-for-3 on the power play, Colorado was 1-for-5. In two meetings with the defending Stanley Cup champs this season, the Leafs grabbed three of a possible four points. Not bad, not bad.
Despite heading into the first intermission tied at 1, I thought the Leafs looked pretty good in the opening 20. Against teams like Colorado, the margin for error is razor thin —that’s why it’s imperative to stay out of the box. Unsurprisingly, Mikko Rantanen made them pay. Luckily, that was the only power play tally Toronto s …

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Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs beat Edmonton Oilers 7-4: The stars came out to play

This is the game Leafs Nation circled on their calendar. Cody Ceci. Zach Hyman. Jack Campbell (sort of). There’s no other reason why fans would be excited. Nada.
In the last game between the two Canadian powerhouses, with two of the most passionate online fanbases, the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to erase a 3-1 deficit to beat the Edmonton Oilers 7-4 in front of a packed Scotiabank Arena. Sure, the building was quiet at times, and it was definitely not a perfect effort, but it worked out in the end.
Fans got their money’s worth on Saturday. A couple of the game’s brightest stars taking centre stage on Hockey Night in Canada. All eyes were on Bay and Lakeshore, and it didn’t disappoint. That is, of course, unless you were one of the traveling Oilers fans out to watch with the Nation Vacation – sorry, boys and girls!

—, Oily Since ‘07 (@OilersNation) March 12, 2023

Fans got their money’s worth on Saturday. A couple of the game’s brightest stars taking centre stage on Hockey Night in Canada. All eyes were on Bay and Lakeshore, and it didn’t disappoint. That is, of course, unless you were one of the traveling Oilers fans out to watch with the Nation Vacation – sorry, boys and girls!
And, predictably, the game lived up to the hype. The teams traded goals early in the first (Noel Acciari for Toronto, Mattias Ekholm for Edmonton) before the Oilers snuck out to a 3-1 l …

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Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation

Orelvis Martinez hits another nuke, José Berríos has a solid outing, and more as the Blue Jays clobber the Phillies 16-4

Another day, another high-scoring game for the Blue Jays!

On Sunday afternoon, the Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies 16-4, the second straight 15+ run game. Unlike the game against the Detroit Tigers, this one was televised, meaning that this article will have clips, yay!
Let’s look at the player of the game.
Blue Jays Nation’s player of the game: Orelvis Martinez
Anytime a player hits a home run that doesn’t have a distance tracked by Baseball Savant’s statcast, you know he got a hold of it.
Last spring training, the 21-year-old hit two homers against the Phillies, including one against Aaron Nola. Well on Sunday afternoon, he hit another one, this one coming off of Matt Seelinger.
Per Savant, the ball had an exit velocity of 104.6 mph, which surprisingly only ranked ninth for hardest-hit balls in the game.
It’s likely that Martinez will start his 2023 with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, but if he can show that he’s improved, he may be fast-tracked to Triple-A Buffalo.

Death, taxes, and Orelvis Martinez (@OrelvisMartine3) hitting nukes of the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training.
Martinez (21) has more power than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did at the same age. Just saying.#BlueJays
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) March 5, 2023

Things worth mentioning:
José Berríos made his second start against the Phillies, allowing two runs, walking a batter, and striking out a pair in his three innings of work. He overcame adversity after an early home run, as he settled down and pitched quite well. His stuff is absolutely nasty, and he had seven whiffs, finishing only behind Zack Wheeler’s eight whiffs.

Here’s José Berríos (@JOLaMaKina)’s ACTUAL strikeout and whiff edit. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Oilers dummy the new look Leafs 5-2: Game highlights

There’s not much good to say about Wednesday’s game. The Oilers led the game from start to finish. Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things. Below are the highlights from the game.
McDavid opened the scoring as Jake McCabe sat for slashing. He worked a give and go with Leon Draisaitl and scored his ninth goal in his last four plus games…

McDavid capitalizes early on the power play to put the Oilers up by one!🔥
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Leafs evened it up later in the first. Cody Ceci turned it over on the wall and Mitch Marner found David Kampf to make it 1-1…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 2, 2023

McDavid did it again a few minutes later. Another highlight reel goal. Five straight multi-goal games for 97. 2-1 Oilers…

That’s five consecutive two goal games for Connor McDavid! 🙌
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

Zach Hyman cleaned up his own rebound to make it 3-1. Three point period for McDavid. First point as an Oiler for Mattias Ekholm…

Hyman goes to work against his former squad! 👷‍♂️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Oilers dominance continued in the second period. Ilya Samsonov made a huge stop on Hyman in tight to keep the Leafs within two…

another strong pad save from Samsonov
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The two goal lead didn’t last long. Kailer Yamamoto tipped in the Ceci point shot to make it 4-1…

Kailer Yamamoto re-directs it
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The Oilers extended their lead again before the end of the second. Ryan McLeod walked TJ Brodie on the 2-1 and fed Klim Kostin. 5-1…

this game is a runaway. klim kostin extends the oilers’ lead to 5-1.
— zach (@zjlaing) March 2, 2023

Mitch Marner got the comeback started with a powerplay goal early in the third. He took the Morgan Rielly pass and wired a wrister past Stuart Skinner to cut the lead to three…

Marns gets us one back!
— Toronto Mapl …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Nylander plays OT hero again. Leafs beat Wild 2-1: Game highlights

There wasn’t a ton of action during Friday’s game versus the Wild. It was tight checking battle with solid goaltending on both ends. The Leafs squeaked out a 2-1 win in overtime. This is the type of win that proves they can get it done in the playoffs. Below are the highlights from the game.
Disaster almost struck early as Ilya Samsonov was fooled by a Ryan Hartman dump in. Just as Samsonov left the net to play the puck Hartman threw it on net instead…

Hartman almost got Samsonov there
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 25, 2023

The weird bounces continued when Brandon Duhaime opened the scoring from behind the net. The Wild won the battle deep in the Leafs’ zone and Duhaime’s pass banked in off Calle Jarnkrok…

the puck goes off Jarnkrok’s skate and in
Brandon Duhaime gets credit
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 25, 2023

David Kampf tied it up a few minutes later. William Nylander did his best Gretzky impression setting up in the Great One’s office and feeding Kampf in front. 1-1…

That feed from Willy Nylander to David Kämpf 👌
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 25, 2023

Ryan O’Reilly had a chance to put the Leafs on top in the second but Filip Gustavsson made the save look easy…

O’Reilly goes for the slapper
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 25, 2023

Gustavsson had the Leafs frustrated all night. He stopped O’Reilly again later in the frame…

another chance for O’Reilly
his reaction was picked up on the mic
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 25, 2023

John Tavares had a pair of chances partway through the third. Again, it was Gustavsson who came out on top….

pair of chances for Tavares
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 25, 2023

Late in the game the Wild had a great look for the go ahead goal but Timothy Liljegren broke up the Mats Zuccar …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Sportsnet announces Blue Jays Spring Training television schedule and changes to broadcast team

There will be a Blue Jays game on TV in just over two weeks.

Sportsnet PR announced the company’s broadcast schedule for Spring Training games on Wednesday afternoon, in which all 16 home games at TD Ballpark in Dunedin along with some road games (currently listed as TBA) will be televised. All games, both home and away, will be played on the Sportsnet Radio Network.
The dates of the 16 home games can be viewed below…

Sportsnet also confirmed some changes to the broadcast team that’ll be working Blue Jays games for the 2023 season.
Buck Martinez and Dan Shulman are in the booth, as we knew, and Joe Siddall will also be providing colour commentary in place of Pat Tabler, who parted ways with Sportsnet earlier this winter. Also, it seems that Arash Madani has been replaced on the broadcast team by Arden Zwelling, who will join Hazel Mae as one of the two in-game reporters.
Sportsnet’s broadcast team for the 2023 season can be viewed below…

The Blue Jays will kick off Grapefruit League play on Saturday, February 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and they’ll play their first televised home game the following day against the New York Yankees.
Spring Training will wrap up on March 28 and the Blue Jays will play their season opener on March 30 in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Toronto’s home opener will come on April 11 when they host the Detroit Tigers.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Is it time for the Maple Leafs to worry about Matt Murray’s inconsistent play?

If you had one word to describe the Maple Leafs and Panthers game on Tuesday night, which word would you use?
Mine is definitely drunk.
The game started off fairly weird with Carter Verhaeghe scoring his first goal against the team that drafted him back in 2013.
That really should’ve been the first warning sign that this game was going to get a bit funky.
Not even a minute later, Dryden Hunt finds the back of the net for Toronto. Why does that matter? Well, Hunt actually signed an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers in 2016. That was also his first goal against the team that brought him into the NHL.
Weird, right? Well, no, it actually became much more exciting after the pair of goals. Shoutout to the refs, too, for making it fun. Kind of.

Florida really pushed Toronto in the first half of the game. It felt like we were seeing the Panthers of last year until the Maple Leafs began to play as they have for most of this season.
You can see in the graph above that Toronto carried the expected goals in all situations throughout the game. But there was a massive shift, even more in favour of the Maple Leafs, halfway through the second period.
They dominated the game after that and were relentless on the forecheck. We cannot forget about Ilya Samsono …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

‘I hate losing more than I like winning’: Keith Petruzzelli’s contract with the Leafs and the moment he will remember forever

‘I hate losing more than I like winning’: Keith Petruzzelli’s contract with the Leafs and the moment he will remember forever

It was just another game in Belleville. Except this time, it wasn’t.
After spending a year bouncing back and forth between the Newfoundland Growlers and Toronto Marlies, Keith Petruzzelli was ready to enter this season in one spot. The AHL.
Little did he know what was coming his way.
Erik Kallgren and Petruzzelli began the season as the Marlies’ two main goaltenders. It was expected that Kallgren would get more of the games, but they would be pretty split between the two.
That was quickly short-lived though as Kallgren — 27-and-a-half minutes into the first game of the season — was crashed into by Rochester’s Ethan Prow.

Erik Kallgren gets run over by Ethan Prow and has since gone to the dressing room.
Dylan Ferguson is coming into the net for the #Marlies.
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 15, 2022

Toronto’s third goaltender at the time, Dylan Ferguson, came in to replace the 26-year-old goaltender for the remainder of the game. Luckily, Kallgren would be okay.
The following day, Matt Murray took the ice at Scotiabank Arena for the Maple Leafs’ morning skate. Except he left 10 minutes after he stepped onto the ice surface with what we now know was a groin injury.
Toronto needed another goaltender for the game that night and the coming weeks, so that meant Kallgren would head to the NHL. In turn, that also indicated that Petruzzelli would be the Marlies’ number one goalie for the foreseeable future.
He held the reins.
The 23-year-old was pulling out win after win in his second year of professional hockey. Petruzzelli’s confidence grew throughout every game and it didn’t seem like the belief in himself wou …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Matinee madness: James van Riemsdyk raising trade stock as Flyers visit Maple Leafs

Matinee madness: James van Riemsdyk raising trade stock as Flyers visit Maple Leafs

Who’s excited for a weekday matinee game at Scotiabank Arena?

James van Riemsdyk and the Philadelphia Flyers will take to the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday. Toronto currently ranks second in the Atlantic Division with a 20–7–6 record; Philadelphia’s 11–15–7 start has them seventh in the Metropolitan Division.
The two teams previously faced off in Toronto on November 2, with Maple Leafs captain John Tavares netting a hat trick to help his team capture a 5–2 victory. Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves for the Maple Leafs in that game and is expected to start again on Thursday.
JVR has been one of the Flyers’ hottest players of late, leading the team with seven points in his last five games (including a four-point outing against the Arizona Coyotes on December 11). The 33-year-old forward has five goals and 12 points in 13 games with the Flyers this season and, as a pending UFA, is currently one of the team’s top trade chips.
Of course, van Riemsdyk previously rode shotgun with the likes of Phil Kessel and Auston Matthews with the Maple Leafs from 2012–13 to 2018–19. The big winger is in the final season of the five-year UFA deal with an average annual value of $7 million that he signed with the Flyers back in 2019.
Throughout his time in Toronto (and both his tenures in Philadelphia), van Riemsdyk mad …

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Author: Mike Gould / The Leafs Nation

A nihilist’s season preview for the Leafs

A nihilist’s season preview for the Leafs

Here we are at the Leafs first game of the season. In many ways, this feels like it should be a meaningful day, but frankly, it hits just about the same as the start of the preseason. I’ll tune in. I write about the Leafs, so I should probably watch them play, but I don’t know if there is much excitement that comes from committing to a season that is about 20 games too long and will ultimately get us to the same place, the Leafs will finish somewhere in the top three in their division, and somehow 4th or 5th in the league, and then something will finally be put on the line as we see if the Leafs are now 19 years removed from a second round appearance or if the mocking of the Leafs needs to revert to the standard 1967 reminder that admittedly I’m far more comfortable with.
That’s not to say that there aren’t storylines to care about with the regular season. Whether Kyle Dubas was active enough for you or not in the offseason, the fact that he’s given Toronto two new goaltenders to hastily develop misinformed opinions on is a bit of a blessing. Last year the g …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation