Leafs demonstrate some lessons learned as there is a new look blueline in practice

The first eight games of the season left a lot to be desired. Considering the schedule the Leafs were handed we should be talking about a 6-2-0 Leafs team instead of a 3-4-1 team, that needed a comeback overtime win to defeat the 0-5-2 Chicago Blackhawks.
While the forward group has certainly taken plenty of heat in the past couple of weeks, the blueline hasn’t done particularly well either.
Jake Muzzin’s rough start exemplifies Leafs’ early struggles

The Muzzin and Holl pairing has been especially bad, while the Sandin and Dermott pairing has been one of the bright spots for the Leafs in the early days. As Nick Richard wrote in the article linked above, Muzzin has had his share of issues, but the other half of that pairing, Justin Holl, has arguably struggled more. And after Holl getting an earful from Auston Matthews on Wednesday night, the Leafs felt comfortable with spicing up their pairings, and giving Holl a paid night off work.

The third pair is Liljegren-Sandin
Holl appears to be the 7th D at Leafs practice @TSN_Edge
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 29, 2021

Those are your new look pairings for the game Saturday …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Will the Toronto Raptors regret waiving Ishmail Wainright?

Will the Toronto Raptors regret waiving Ishmail Wainright?

The Toronto Raptors had two open roster spots left before they solidified their opening day configuration, meaning that three non-guaranteed players Ishmail Wainright, Isaac Bonga, and Sam Dekker were vying for those two openings. Nick Nurse took his time coming to a decision, but his move was not what the Ugandan national team player wanted […]
Will the Toronto Raptors regret waiving Ishmail Wainright? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Fred VanVleet confirms OG Anunoby is top offensive option

Raptors: Fred VanVleet confirms OG Anunoby is top offensive option

The Toronto Raptors may not have left TD Garden with a victory against the Boston Celtics, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be encouraged by some of the performances they saw in that game. OG Anunoby continued his upward ascension as a scorer, as he and Fred VanVleet helped keep Toronto in this game. VanVleet […]
Raptors: Fred VanVleet confirms OG Anunoby is top offensive option – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 players that will make or break the season

Toronto Raptors: 3 players that will make or break the season

There are only a few days left until the Toronto Raptors start their 27th season. They will play against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 20 in Toronto. The Raptors will be in Toronto for the first time since February of 2020, and the excitement is palpable. The ups and downs this franchise had to suffer […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players that will make or break the season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #15 Ondrej Kase

Few Toronto Maple Leafs have left me as intrigued with possibility as the signing of Ondrej Kase has. Once a promising, budding star with the Anaheim Ducks, Kase’s extended list of injuries has prevented him from realizing that 25+ goal potential he showed in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. After a disappointing stint with the Boston Bruins, the Leafs are taking a low risk, high reward flier on the 25-year-old Czech winger.
The range of outcomes in Kase’s time with the Leafs is incredibly wide. If the injuries continue and he can’t consistently play in the lineup, Kase may be an afterthought and a $1M LTIR castaway. On the flip side, a healthy Kase could finally provide Toronto with the bottom six play driver they’ve desperately been seeking following the departure of Nazem Kadri. That array of possibilities with Kase is what makes him such a fascinating addition to myself and many others, one that I will be keeping a keen eye on in training camp, assuming he is healthy and ready to play.
Five Important Stats

2021 Games Played
2019/20 5v5 Points
2019/20 5v5 CF%
2019/20 5v5 Shots/60
2019/20 SH%
3
20
54.02%
9.96
4.17%
The only stat that really matters when it comes to Ondrej Kase is …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

A Fortnight On The Farm: Mid-Season Edition (Part Two, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A)

Picking up where I left off yesterday…

New Hampshire
Famously the home of the cream of the prospect crop in the Jays system, if you go 40 deep, Buffalo actually edges them out by two, but it is indeed the top-heavy team.
Start with #1 prospect Austin Martin, fresh off playing in Sunday’s Future’s game. He was building momentum in June before getting hit in the helmet with a pitch on June 24 and missing the next eight days going through concussion protocol. You can’t draw much of a conclusion the six games since but really, there’s a reason he’s #1.
Taking my cue from some of the professional commentary I’ve seen, I bumped up catcher Gabriel Moreno to #3. Given that he’s likely to be on the IL recovering from that thumb injury for more than a month to come, I’m just calling out his name and moving on because you know.
It’s a bit of a slide that Jordan Groshans is #7, but you shouldn’t read that as him having disappointed. For a 21-year-old with a total of 109 professional games, playing at AA, a .751 OPS is fine. It’s not failure, the slide is …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto

Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto

When Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka left, the Toronto Raptors went from having a surplus of quality veterans to being conspicuously lacking, and this is a problem an uncharacteristic Raptors free agency spending spree can fix. To put things in perspective, the Raptors were asking two rookies (Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris), a rookie that […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 cheaper veterans potentially heading to Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam

The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam

With two games left to play, Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors will face the Dallas Mavericks in an inconsequential contest Friday night. A long productive stretch of seven seasons of playoff basketball is now history, and the franchise will now focus on seeing what their youth is capable of in these last three games, […]
The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

There’s about a month remaining of games left for the 2020-21 regular season. Things haven’t been easy for the Toronto Raptors, but there have been many silver linings to take away. With injuries and players being out due to health and safety protocols, it has led head coach Nick Nurse to mix and match a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Leafs look to extend win streak to three against suddenly surging Oilers

When the Toronto Maple Leafs left Edmonton on March 3rd following their dominant three game sweep of the Oilers, the mood around the team was perhaps the highest it had been in years. During said sweep, the Leafs outscored the Oilers 13-1, earning shutouts from Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson while also holding Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a combined one point (the fact that Auston Matthews only appeared in one of the three games is a bit of an afterthought.) The sweep saw the Leafs increase their lead of the North Division to nine points over the second place Winnipeg Jets, and ten points over the throughly humiliated third place Oilers.
The Leafs, as they are prone to do, promptly reminded us that they are in fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, and proceeded to drop six of the nine and allowed the Oilers to close that gap to a mere two points heading into tonight’s matchup.
The Oilers, meanwhile, had a solid bounce back from their dismal set with the Leafs, winning seven of their nine games since the three game sweep, including a five game winning streak in the games immediately following the series. Should the …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation