Leafs look to rebound from Habs loss against the Flames – with David Rittich in net?

Listen, Jack Campbell was not going to win every game he started this season. A loss was bound to happen sooner or later, and I don’t know about you, but Leafs losses just don’t faze me as much this season. They’re good, their record is good, they have what it takes to pull out wins even when they might not deserve it. Yes, last night’s game was not exactly a great example of what they can do, but I can’t be too mad at a stinker every 9 or 10 games.
Onward. The Leafs play again tonight against the Flames – and on Sunday evening they traded for former Flames goalie David Rittich  (who has historically played very well against the Leafs) – it’s like a soap opera and I love it. Will he start tonight? If so, is that a good thing? Obviously having some extra goalie insurance is a plus, because with Frederik Andersen sidelined indefinitely the Leafs goalie options are Campbell, who is clearly not yet used to handling the starter’s workload, and Michael Hutchinson, who is Michael Hutchinson. It’ll be interesting to see what Rittich can do behind this Leafs team.
The …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Gerrit Cole and the Yankees’ bullpen shut down the Blue Jays

A struggling offence going up against Gerrit Cole went about how you’d expect it to go. The Blue Jays drop the first game of the series by a score of 3-1.

Things worth mentioning…
Things were actually looking pretty good for the Blue Jays’ bats early on. The team scored a run in the first inning when Bo Bichette and Vlad Jr. hit back-to-back singles and then they threatened in the second inning when Lourdes Gurriel walked and Rowdy Tellez (FINALLY) picked up his first hit of the season. But after that? A whole lot of nothing. The Yanks went ahead and retired 20 Blue Jays in a row from the second inning until the eighth when Marcus Semien hit a loop single off of Darren O’Day. In the ninth, Randal Grichuk hit a double off of Aroldis Chapman, but Tellez got rung up on one of the worst strike three calls you’ll ever see…

This was strike 3 to end the Yankees Blue Jay game. A brutal week for MLB umpires. pic.twitter.com/ND0RSuBQ0D
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 13, 2021

On the other side, the Blue Jays pitchers also did a very good job of shutting …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The New York Yankees have acquired Rougned Odor

It looks like we’re going to be seeing a whole bunch more of Rougned Odor.

According to Jeff Passan, the Yankees are acquiring Odor from the Rangers and Texas wants to move on from him so badly that they’re eating the majority of the $27 million left on his contract.

Texas is expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Rougned Odor, who’s on his way to the Yankees, per sources. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million next year and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 6, 2021

Odor, of course, had been designated for assignment prior to the start of the 2021 season after a mediocre spring training followed up a disastrous 2020 campaign. In 38 games last season, Odor slashed a .167/.209/.413 line with an outrageous 47-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Things have generally gone poorly for Odor since he signed his six-year, $49.5 million contract extension after what appeared to be a breakout season in 2016. He slashed a .267/.305/.487 line between 2015 and 2016 and was a key part of the Rangers’ offence those seasons (you know, the ones who lost in the ALDS back-to-back) but completely cratered after that. Between 2017 and 2020, his OPS dipped to .697 …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs look to keep up hot streak against slumping Flames

If there was ever a game with two teams going in different directions, this is it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently find themselves on a 5-0-1 stretch, or as Pierre LeBrun would call it, a “lossless” streak. In fact, the last time the Leafs lost in regulation was against the Flames, and also Frederik Andersen’s last game before his injury. And they haven’t just been getting by during this stretch, they’ve been outright dominating their opponents, with a 62.61% xGF% in that span. The last time the Leafs had a game with less than a 58% xGF% was March 14th against the Ottawa Senators.
The Calgary Flames have not been doing that. After a solid 3-1-1 start after hiring Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 2-7 and made it highly unlikely that they get into the playoffs, and extremely disappointing result for a team that was, on paper, the second best in the division. During that nine game stretch, they have a 46.85% xGF%, which definitely won’t cut it. They’ve struggled to find their consistency all season, and it’s a big reason why they’re 16-19-3 on the season.
Will that decide the outcome …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays release 26-man roster (and Taxi Squad), Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have been designated for assignment

The Blue Jays have finally let us know who’s going to be the team to kick off the season.

The roster features 14 pitchers and 12 position players…
Pitchers: Hyun Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Steven Matz, Tanner Roark, T.J. Zeuch, Ryan Borucki, Tyler Chatwood, Rafel Dolis, Tim Mayza, Julian Merryweather, Joel Payamps, David Phelps, Jordan Romano, and Trent Thornton.
Players: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vlad Jr., Joe Panik, Marcus Semien, Rowdy Tellez, Jonathan Davis, Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel, Teoscar Hernandez.
Taxi Squad: Riley Adams, Travis Bergen, A.J. Cole, Santiago Espinal, Tommy Milone.
Panik and Mayza needed to be added to the 40-man roster, so the team has designated both Breyvic Valera and Reese McGuire for assignment. The former comes as no surprise at all and the latter seemed inevitable once we learned yesterday that the team had gone out and acquired a veteran third-string catcher in Juan Graterol.
I would imagine that somebody takes a flyer on McGuire who is certainly good enough to be a glove-only backup catcher at the big-league level. Regardless, Kirk is the better player, and this move that prioritizes winning over asset management proves where the Blue Jays are at …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alex Kerfoot is not a salary dump, but a trade asset

It seems like the Leafs are going to go to great lengths to make sure that they can keep their whole lineup together and add still add at the deadline (or before) through waiting for their cap space to align perfectly, and deal prospects or picks to get what they want. If their trade partner is willing to retain 50% of the salary the Leafs are nearing the point where adding a player with a near $4M cap hit is possible. Still they may want to do more than that, go bigger than that, and in those situations salary will need to come off the roster and the most likely salary to be shipped out is Alex Kerfoot.
In the past the Leafs have always had a bad contract that they needed to dump, and with the exception of this last year of Frederik Andersen, that bad contract doesn’t really seem to exist on the Leafs, the problem is that of the non-core players there doesn’t really seem to be any significant salary attached to a player beyond the $3.5M attached to Alex Kerfoot.
Once you get past the fact that Alex Kerfoot is not Nazem Kadri, it becomes …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ goalie injury woes continue as Andersen ruled out in the short term

So it looks like it’s going to be Jack Campbell’s net for the next little while, and given how he’s played this season I don’t think anyone is too upset by that aspect of today’s information from Sheldon Keefe:

Keefe says Andersen remains day-to-day, but that he shouldn’t be expected back for seven to 10 days.
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) March 24, 2021

Frederik Andersen has been dealing with a nagging lower body injury since he was last out (as per Kristen Shilton), and has been attempting to play through it. In those seven games since he’s returned have been some of the worst hockey we’ve seen from Andersen, as he’s posted an .872 save percentage in that time, and the Leafs have only picked up 2 wins in the 7 games he’s played (6 of them were starts, but Andersen was also the deciding goaltender in his strong relief effort.) Andersen had a slow start to the season, but had rebounded for a strong stretch in February. Still inconsistency has been the only consistent thing about Andersen, and the Leafs should take this opportunity to let him heal and come back ready to play pain free.
That could …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Campbell records a shutout, because of course he did

So, Jack Campbell is going to be the starter now, right?
The Leafs desperately needed a win after going into the contest losing six of their previous seven games and boy did they come away with a good result. Not only did they generate a lot of offensive chances but they got some reliable goaltending for the first time in what seemed like ages. You could also tell the Leafs played a different type of game in front of Campbell as they felt more relaxed compared to 24 hours prior.

Jack Campbell has made 69 consecutive saves.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) March 21, 2021

Both teams combined for seven penalties on the night with a number of them being questionable calls at best. On Toronto’s end, they came up short time and time again which could have widened the gap even further had just one found twine (more on that later). Despite the lacklustre power play, their penalty kill was miles better than it has been the past few weeks.
All of which is to say that this is the result they needed heading into another lengthy break.
Three Stars
3rd Star: Jason Spezza
Late in the first period, Spezza lived up to his …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs give up four goals to the Ottawa Senators – Rate That Leafs Game

I’m not going to sit here and blame the loss of this game on the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs flew to Ottawa on the day of a game. To say that that was the reason they lost is just preposterous. The Maple Leafs lost because they’re in a rut, of all things. And what they need to do is get out of it before it’s too late.
A little adversity won’t hurt a team, and yes, the Maple Leafs weren’t going to win every game this season. But it’s time they put the foot down, play like they did prior to this slump, and win some games.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video!

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Bold Take: Zach Hyman’s next contract isn’t going to be $7M a year

How’s it going folks? Feeling alright? I just wanted to pop by and remind you that just because someone throws out a ridiculous number for Zach Hyman’s next contract doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be paid that number. I get that some of you were hurt by the Nylander contract, and some of us were certainly hurt by the Marner contract, and a lucky few are mad about every contract paid to the Leafs big four forwards, but the Hyman situation is likely going to be different, and we may have the pandemic and the resulting flat cap to thank for that.

JD Bunkis is suggesting $7M per for Zach Hyman. What in the fuck?!
— Jesse Turner (@Jessturr) March 10, 2021

So there’s the tweet that seems to be getting legs. I think it’s largely based off the fact that there is a large portion of the Leafs fan population that believes that Hyman’s contributions are equal to or greater than William Nylander’s. While I’ve got plenty of time for hearing about the merits of Hyman, I think we can begin with pumping the breaks on the idea that they are …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation