1 concerning takeaway from Raptors’ humiliating loss to Pelicans

1 concerning takeaway from Raptors’ humiliating loss to Pelicans

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors went into their matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans with their health intact and a two-game winning streak in their back pocket. With Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum both injured, it wouldn’t be outrageous to expect a victory from the Canadian side. While Siakam got the […]
1 concerning takeaway from Raptors’ humiliating loss to Pelicans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Around the quarter mark, which Leafs forward has underwhelmed?

Around the quarter mark, which Leafs forward has underwhelmed?

Tomorrow, the calendar rolls into December. American Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we have completed over 25% of the NHL regular season. The Leafs have played 24 games, and currently sit at 14-5-5. They have 33 points, and trail only Boston (who are having a historic start).
Just like last season, they came out of the blocks a little slow. Also replicating last season – the Buds have absolutely torched November. They’ve lost only 1 game in regulation this month, and have done so with some major injuries on the back end and in net. Multiple early questions have been answered, and the overall feel in Toronto is positive.
The d-core has performed heroically considering the injuries, and the goaltending has been very impressive. Most of the forwards have performed adequately, and there have even been some pleasant surprises up front. So, who hasn’t exactly pulled their weight? With more than a quarter of the 82 games played, our sample size is large enough to offer some evaluation.
Alex Kerfoot has had a lacklustre start to this campaign. In a season where many forwards are playing very well, Kerfoot would probably be the first to tell you he hasn’t contributed enough. Given his contract situation, and how he operates within this forward group, #15 is an interesting player to examine.
It should be said, I h …

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Author: Bennett Jull / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets

1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets

Thad Young and the Toronto Raptors went into the season expecting names like Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Fred VanVleet to lead them to the promised land. In their second matchup of the season against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, none of them were active. Toronto was missing six rotation players in this game. […]
1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

We are just over a month into the NHL season and there are a couple players that have been exceeding expectations and a team that’s playing its way into the Bedard sweepstakes.
Bo Horvat and Jason Robertson have been single handily winning games for the Canucks and Stars. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are in the midst of their longest regulation losing streak in franchise history.
Bo Horvat
A few months ago Canucks fans were saying this guy isn’t even worth 6M per year. Well, now he’s second in the NHL in goals. With four multi-goal games in his last five he’s now at 12 on the year in just 13 games.
It’s a contract year for the Canucks captain and he’s playing his way out of their price range. His 16 points in 13 games have him on pace to shatter his career high of 61 set back in 2018-19. They chose to lock up JT Miller for seven more years instead of their captain whose two years younger and it looks like they’re going to regret it.
Unless they buy out Oliver Ekman-Larsson or trade one of Tyler Myers or Conor Garland it’s looking like Horvat will be play …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Chris Boucher proved he is Raptors’ Sixth Man in Spurs blowout

Chris Boucher proved he is Raptors’ Sixth Man in Spurs blowout

The Toronto Raptors went into the offseason well aware of the fact that Chris Boucher was one of the few bench players from the prior year’s squad that can be counted on to pile up points in tense situations. That was the motivation behind getting a deal done so quickly. Boucher signed a three-year, $35 […]
Chris Boucher proved he is Raptors’ Sixth Man in Spurs blowout – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Where does Christian Koloko fit in the Toronto Raptors rotation?

Where does Christian Koloko fit in the Toronto Raptors rotation?

Five games into the season, the Toronto Raptors have seen some truly inspiring play from early second-round rookie Christian Koloko. The 7-1, 230-pound Arizona big man has brought energy, intensity, and highlight blocks to a Raptors defense that has struggled at times to cover cutting lanes and limit paint points. An expected project, Koloko is […]
Where does Christian Koloko fit in the Toronto Raptors rotation? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Tyler Hedmann / Raptors HQ

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Less than two weeks into the regular season and injuries are already piling up. Over the last week several key players hit their respective injured lists, a Washington Capitals forward was suspended, and the San Jose Sharks took the lead in the race for Connor Bedard.
Landeskog knee surgery
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche will be without their captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next 12 weeks after his second knee surgery of the year. He missed the last quarter of the 2021-22 season for the same reason before joining the team for their playoff run.
He was held out of the first three games with a lower body injury and ultimately they decided another surgery was necessary.
Red Wings injuries
Tyler Bertuzzi will miss the next four to six weeks after blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. This a massive blow for a young Wings team with playoff aspirations. Bertuzzi was second on the team with 62 points last season.
His teammate Jakub Vrana is also away from the team for personal reasons. There has been no timetable given for his return. Detroit will need depth players to step up with the absence of two top-six forwards. Pius Suter and Filip Zadina have joined the lineup after being healthy scratches early on.
Ekblad groin s …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Our readers provide a vote of confidence for Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe (Reader Poll Part 1)

Before going into any of the results of the reader poll, I want to start by thanking everyone who participated, even those you who hilariously voted for yourselves to be the next GM, and those of you took the time to answer a survey but still felt compelled to write-in “I don’t care” as an answer. You’re the real ones.
I especially want to thank those of you who answered the last question about feedback on TLN. While the answers rolled up to equal a lot of contradictory stuff like more trade speculation vs. less trade speculation, more opinion vs. more reporting, less pessimism vs. and I quote “getting off of Dubas’ dick” there is value in all of that. I want there to be something for everyone and even at times when there is a lot of trade speculation that you can find something else worth your time on this site. I definitely hear you about getting podcasts back in the mix on the site, and we will continue fighting the war against grammatical errors. Thanks again.
Given the number of questions on the poll, we’re going to break this up into three parts, and today we’ll start with …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Juancho Hernangomez playing well on international stage

Raptors: Juancho Hernangomez playing well on international stage

The Toronto Raptors decided to dip their toes far into the free agent pool to find one of their later roster additions. Juancho Hernangomez, fresh off his tour de force showing as Bo Cruz in Adam Sandler’s Hustle, signed a one-year deal with Toronto that gives him some guaranteed money. Even though he had a […]
Raptors: Juancho Hernangomez playing well on international stage – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

TLN Prospect Rankings: Where did we get it wrong?

We’re heading into the home stretch of our countdown of the top Leafs prospects, and as we near the end, it’s time to reflect on some of those we might have gotten wrong. Maybe we loved them too much or maybe not enough. Either way, some of our voters and some of our non-voters weigh-in on the TLN rankings.
Dylan Murphy:
Maybe it’s just recency bias seeing him at the World Juniors, but Roni Hirvonen looks ready to make the jump to North America, perhaps even ready to make his NHL debut in a depth role. I’ll admit to not seeing him play all that often, but from what I have seen, he’s a creative playmaker with a nose for the net. The Leafs are weak at the LW position, but between Robertson, Knies, and Hirvonen, the team’s future (at that position) is in good hands.
Ryan Hobart:
I’m continually surprised by how little recognition Axel Rindell gets from prospects people. He didn’t get into our top 20 prospects this year or last. While being an older prospect at 22 years old, his expected move to the Marlies this season could prove an excellent launching pad to the Leafs. If he can take over the Marlies’ powerplay as a quarterbac …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation