There is no shortage of personal milestones to be hit by Leafs players this season

It’s training camp time, which means we are spending the next three weeks anticipating a season that is essentially an eight month long transaction to get us to the hockey that we really care about, the playoffs. I think we should be reasonably comfortable with the idea the Leafs are a playoff team, and even if the biggest pessimists will grant the Leafs the bare minimum of a wild card spot in the playoffs, while we’re waiting for that hockey we need something to keep us interested and to some degree that will include players hitting personal milestones.
That is partially why I spent some time putting together a list of what the Leafs’ individual players could achieve.
Who
Milestone
How far away
Joey Anderson
1st Leafs goal
1 goal
Joey Anderson
1st Leafs point
1 point
Joey Anderson
100 games played
42 games
Nic Aube-Kubel
100 games played
31 games
Jordie Benn
600 games played
5 games
TJ Brodie
800 games played
28 games
Michael Bunting
100 games as a Leaf
21 games
Michael Bunting
100 points as a Leaf
37 points
Michael Bunting
100 points
23 points
Kyle Clifford
800 games played
49 games
Carl Dahlstrom
100 games played
33 games
Pierre Engvall
200 games played
32 games
Pierre Engvall
100 points
38 points
Adam Gaudette
100 points
30 points
Mark Giordano
100 games as a Leaf
80 games
Mark Giordano
1100 games
76 games
Mark Giordano
600 points
56 points
Mark Giordano
400 assists
7 assists
Justin Holl
100 points
36 points
Calle Jarnkrok
600 games played
26 games
David Kampf
100 games as a Leaf
18 games
David Kampf
100 career points
16 points
Alex Kerfoot
400 games played
40 games
Alex Kerfoot
200 points
13 points
Timothy Liljegren
100 games played
26 games
Denis Malgin
200 games played
8 games
Denis Malgin
100 points
40 points
Denis Malgin
1st Leafs goal
1 goal
Denis Malgin
1st Leafs point
1 point
Mitch Marner
500 games played
73 games
Mitch Marner
500 points
45 points
Mitch Marner
400 assists
83 assists
Mitch Marner
9th on the Leafs alltime assists list (321 tied with Doug Gilmour)
4 assists
Mitch Marner
8th on the Leafs alltime assists list (330 tied with Ted Kennedy)
13 assists
Mitch Marner
7th on the Leafs alltime assists list (349 tied with Tim Horton)
32 assists
Mitch Marner
10th on the Leafs alltime points list (537 tied with Rick Vaive)
82 points
Auston Matthews
300 goals
41 goals
Auston Matthews
200 assists
2 assists
Auston Matthews
500 points
43 points
Auston Matthews
8th on the Leafs alltime goals list (260 with Wendel Clark)
1 goal
Auston Matthews
6th on the Leafs alltime goals list (296 tied with Mahovlich and Armstrong)
37 goals
Auston Matthews
5th on the Leafs alltime goals list (299, tied with Vaive)
40 goals
Auston Matthews
10th on the Leafs alltime points list (537 tied with Rick Vaive)
80 points
Matt Murray
300 games played
54 games
Matt Murray
150 wins
18 wins
Matt Murray
20 shutouts
9 shutouts
Jake Muzzin
700 games played
21 games
Jake Muzzin
200 games as a Leaf
17 games
Jake Muzzin
100 points as a Leaf
20 points
Jake Muzzin
300 points
7 points
William Nylander
500 games played
61 games
William Nylander
400 points
57 points
Morgan Rielly
700 games played
46 games
Morgan Rielly
400 points
27 points
Morgan Rielly
4th all time in Leafs defensive points (414 tied with Ian Turnbull)
41 points
Morgan Rielly
5th all time in Leafs defensive games played (717 tied with Jim Thomson)
63 games
Ilya Samsonov
100 games played
11 games
Ilya Samsonov
10th shutout
4 shutouts
Rasmus Sandin
100 games played
49 games
Alex Steeves
1st NHL goal
1 goal
John Tavares
1000 games played
51 ga …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Weekend Rambling: The 2023 Offence

Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that baseball doesn’t have an ideal term for the non-pitcher part of the roster? You can say “the fielders” but there’s also a DH, you can say “the lineup” but there are bench players, you can say “the offence” but almost every player has to be considered on the defensive spectrum as well. Anyway, you get the idea.

As the third and final installment of this mini-series, this one has a lot of just stating the obvious, the same way I did with the top three starting pitchers, but also a maybe surprising amount of caveats and qualifications to anything that you might want to firmly declare. But we need a starting place, so let me go with this: while this offense could certainly use some tweaks and no team, particularly a contender, simply rolls over the same basic roster from one season to the next, let’s not misunderstand a core truth here – this team is GOOD.
As a group, you can look at both team results and also go position by position. While it’s true that offence is down some from the year before in many cases, it is like that across the league (T …

Read More

Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Another excellent Ross Stripling start earns the Blue Jays the series victory over the Rays

This season, it’s been comical how much the Blue Jays have struggled against pitchers with elevated ERAs. Kyle Bradish of the Orioles, Tucker Davidson of the Angels, and several others have had their way with Toronto while carrying ERAs north of 5.

Conversely, the Blue Jays have been really good against some of the league’s best. Gerrit Cole has struggled against Toronto this season, Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer hit back-to-back home runs against Justin Verlander back in April, and even Zach Wheeler allowed six runs to this Blue Jays team.
So it would make sense that after struggling against Cooper Criswell earlier this week, it would only be right that the Blue Jays would chase Drew Rasmussen from his start tonight after only four innings of work. Rasmussen came into tonight owning a 2.57 ERA, allowing no more than three runs in each of his last 12 starts.
The Blue Jays offense didn’t let Rasmussen get in a groove, and they backed another stellar Ross Stripling start as the Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay 5-1 tonight, clinching a series victory regardless of what happens tomorrow.
We’re starting to run out of adjectives to describe how well Stripling has pitched for Toronto this season, and you’d have to think the better he pitches down the stretch, …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

The Bo Bichette Redemption Tour continues

In sports, it’s very easy to hyperbolize and dramatize statements like “That guy carries the offense!” and “That’s a one-man team!” For the Toronto Blue Jays right now, it is quite literally a one-man show on offense, as Bo Bichette once again carried the offense during a critical game in September for the Toronto Blue Jays. They defeated Tampa Bay 3-2 behind a gutsy two-run home run from Bichette to give the Blue Jays the lead in the bottom of the 8th.

Bichette’s home run was off of Rays closer Jason Adam, who has been shoving for the Rays all year. Bo, last week’s AL Player of the Week, battled amidst a seven-pitch at-bat against Adam, taking tough sliders and fouling off fastballs. On pitch number seven, Bichette pulled a slider over the left field fence for his 24th home run of the season. It was a little mind-boggling why the Rays even pitched to Bichette with an open base and considering how well he has been swinging the bat.

BO KNOWS CLUTCH!
Bo Bichette gives the Blue Jays the lead in the bottom of the 8th! pic.twitter.com/b9w8HzI23p
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 13, 2022

The homer was extremely reminiscent of Bichette’s go-ahead home run late last year against the Yankees, taking a Clay Holmes sinker over the right field fence to lead Toronto to victory. Both home runs were in the bottom of the 8t …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Justin Champagnie

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Justin Champagnie

Based on how the franchise has performed over the years, it’s fair to say that the Toronto Raptors do a better-than-average job of finding talent in the undrafted free agent pool. Masai Ujiri’s scouting acumen proved golden once again after acquiring Justin Champagnie. While Champagnie averaged 18.0 points and 11.1 rebounds during his final year […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Justin Champagnie – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The almost certain break up of the Tavares, Nylander, and Kerfoot line

It’s late summer and I was all prepared to come at you with an article today going into the merits of splitting up Tavares and Nylander and trying to spread the offense around to three lines. There might still be some interest in doing that, and I’ll discuss it, but the numbers certainly don’t support it. What it looks like the numbers support is that Kerfoot if he returns this season, shouldn’t be on that line. That’s certainly an idea worth exploring as the salary cap could dictate it as a necessity for the Leafs anyway, and it probably makes sense to prepare for that outcome.
Last start with the place where most bad ideas start, and that’s with WOWYs. The second we start breaking down the large sample of a season into these smaller bite sized samples there is a lot more situational context at play. For one late in the game when the Leafs are looking for offensive opportunities the Leafs will put Nylander and Tavares out on the ice but not necessarily Kerfoot. When Kerfoot was playing with Nyland …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What should the Maple Leafs’ next goal song be?

What should the Maple Leafs’ next goal song be?

It’s been four years since the Maple Leafs began using Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” as their goal song and it’s finally time to send it to the stratosphere.
That means, it’s change Toronto’s goal song o’clock.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy “You Make My Dreams Come True” just as much as everyone else, but sometimes change can be good. Sometimes, change can make different outcomes possible — maybe even the opposite of a first round exit.
There is criteria, though, for a brand new song. It has to be fast, loud, and able to get the fans going when the Maple Leafs put the puck into the back of the net. It would also be a plus if the artist was Canadian, however it’s not required.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, nor should it be a song any NHL team has used in the past — it needs to be one of their own. One that fits the Maple Leafs’ brand.
So, here are my three picks:
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) – Fall Out Boy

We begin with this song because, well, listening to it can get you incredibly hyped up first of all
Secondly, if you move the play cursor to the 50 second mark, you can hear them sing the “Light Em Up” portion, which is where the goal song would begin when the Maple Leafs score. “Light Em Up” also specifies that Toronto is scoring against the opposition, and that seems like the perfect fit.
Of all the songs on the list, this one might just be the perfect fit for the Maple Leafs.
 
Years In The Making …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Shut it down. Patrick Kane to the Leafs would be a disaster

It’s definitely at the point in the summer where people are looking for something to talk about, and it seems that Patrick Kane rumours are how the hockey world is going to pass the time. Unfortunately when it comes to ways to make sure there is enough gasoline on the fire to make a topic stick you need to include Toronto as part of the rumour. As a fanbase Leafs are a dog on a bone that won’t let go and that’s why we probably need to bow out of the Kane talk early.
The narrative around the idea of Kane coming to Toronto seems to be largely Auston Matthews driven. Bringing in Kane shows a commitment to winning, bringing in Kane would allow the torch to be passed from one of the top producing American forwards to the next one. And my personal favourite is about how Kane would take a discount to continue to play in Toronto because he’d want to continue to play with Auston and that would help Auston get re-signed as well. It’s a fun little story for someone but doesn’t seem to …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Previewing the 2022 Women’s World Championships

It’s been an unusually busy month of August on the hockey calendar. After the rescheduled 2022 World Juniors and the various national team camps that came before the tournament itself, the international hockey content is far from slowing down as the 2022 Women’s World Championships begin Thursday in Denmark.
This is the first time the Women’s World Championships are being held in the same year as the Olympics. Previously, the World Championships were skipped in an Olympic year. Back in September 2021, the IIHF announced the change to play the tournament every year including Olympic years, with the tournament taking place in August of an Olympic year rather than the usual slot in April for a non-Olympic year.
As such, we have even more summer hockey on deck. With only a handful of months since the last major tournament in February, there will be plenty of storylines and statements to be made at the Women’s World Championships over the next two weeks. Let’s get into the participants and who to watch for throughout the tournament.
Group A
Canada
Canada enters the 2022 World Championships as not only the defending champions from last year’s tournament but also the defending gold medallists at the 2022 Olympics. This event will be far from a walk in the park, as Canada will be looking to win back- …

Read More

Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Checking in on how the Blue Jays’ 2022 draft picks and undrafted free agent signs are doing so far

It’s been just over a month now since the 2022 MLB draft, so it’s time to look at how each player is doing!

We’ll be going in the order in which they were drafted, starting with the 23rd overall pick, then the 60th overall, and then so on and so forth.
We’ll also be looking at how the undrafted free agents have been doing, as they’ve also put up some interesting numbers.
As most of these players have played with the Dunedin Blue Jays, we’ll be able to look at exit velocity data and pitching velocity. Here’s the database for every single batted ball in play for the 2022 Dunedin Blue Jays.
Brandon Barriera:
The Blue Jays’ first-round draftee has yet to make his professional debut. In fact, it’s unlikely he will make his debut in 2022.  It’s been reported that the 18-year-old lefty will work at the complex in Florida, much like how the Blue Jays’ third-rounder, Ricky Tiedemann did last season.
Hopefully, Barriera is able to rise up the ranks like Tiedemann has done this season.
Josh Kasevich:
The 21-year-old shortstop who was chosen 60th overall was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low A. He’s slashing .234/.294/.277 with no homers in 51 plate appearances. Kasevich has avoided strikeouts, as his 7.8 K% is the lowest amongst this group of players, but he’s only walked 5.9% of the time. He has a 69 (nice) wRC+ for the season
Out of all the drafted players that landed in Dunedin, Kasevich has the lowest average exit velocity at 82.55 mph. He has a hard hit percentage of 23.26 (second lowest), and his maximum exit velocity sits at 104.3 mph.
Tucker Toman:
Selected with the 77th overa …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation