Jack Campbell may be playing his way onto the U.S. Olympic team

A quick look atop the NHL’s save percentage leaderboards is a trip down memory lane. In fourth is Danish prince Frederik Andersen, the long-time Maple Leafs starter from 2016-2021. In second is James Reimer, the affable homegrown talent who performed admirably behind some truly flawed Leafs teams in the early 2010s. Lastly, but also firstly, is Jack Campbell, the guy who stole both Andersen’s starting job last year and Reimer’s status as the nicest guy in the league.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know Campbell has been unbelievable for the Leafs this season, most especially during their current run of nine wins in ten games. Leading the league in save percentage and goals against average while placing second in shutouts, he is everything the Maple Leafs could have asked him to be this season. His spectacular start has some wondering if, come February, he may find himself sitting next to Auston Matthews on a plane to China as a member of the U.S. Olympic team.
It’s something that even Jack would have thought unfathomable a year ago, when he started the 2020-21 season as the backup to Andersen, but his chances …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: A look at Steve Greenley’s change of scenery candidates and if they are a fit for the Leafs

A few weeks back I took a look at a couple of players I deemed reclamation projects, Dylan Strome and Vitali Kravtsov. I am unapologetic in my love of this type of transaction because it is a low risk swing for the fences. This is basically a no outs runner on third, swing for the fences because you aren’t risking a whole lot and there’s a very good chance that even if it isn’t a home run, you’ll get a bit of help you need. The Leafs being a cap tight team without the resources to sink into bona fide stars at the moment, reclamation projects seem ideal.
Today in his article at DailyFaceOff.com, Steve Greenley put a bit more formal terminology to my reclamation projects by outlining his change of scenery candidates and the definition that GMs use to identify these players.
You can check out the details and full list of players at DFO, but here is the criteria for change of scenery candidates:

Lack of ice time

Road block in the current organizations depth chart that prevent player success

Not meeting expectations of where they were selected in draft

Minimal special teams …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season

Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season

The Toronto Raptors have a whole new look this season, as they had to part ways with Kyle Lowry in the offseason as part of the beginning of a new era. Masai Ujiri once again has this team in prime position to make a run at the postseason despite some preseason doubters. The team is […]
Toronto Raptors: Ideal depth chart and rotation for 2021 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Expect improved results from this year’s Leafs PK

A look at the standings table for last season shows the Maple Leafs tied for 23rd in penalty killing percentage (PK%), which would seem to indicate that Toronto was quite poor with a man in the box last season. But a quick peek under the hood shows a quite effective PK that was not as bad as it looks, and this offseason’s turnover may play a huge role in turning the team’s underlying success into actual results.
Last season
The Leafs’ penalty kill did an excellent job last season of suppressing shots (8th-best in Shots Against per 60), neutering shot attempts (3rd-best in Corsi Against per 60), and limiting scoring chances (9th-best Expected Goals Against per 60). So how does a team that finishes top-10 in all three of these categories finish bottom-10 in the NHL in PK%?
Goaltending. Specifically, Frederik Andersen’s shorthanded goaltending.
While it’s easy to point fingers at a guy who is no longer on the Leafs’ roster, there’s no denying that Andersen struggled on the penalty kill last season, torpedoing the efforts of the defending unit in front of him. Consider that Andersen played 48% of Toronto’s shorthanded minutes last season but allowed 62% of …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

The NHL and Black Lives Matter: A year later

The NHL and Black Lives Matter: A year later

Look at the NHL. Look at the athletes. Look at the training staff. Look at the front offices. What do you see? What changes around diversity and inclusion have happened in the past year that have actually made a difference and have been more than performative or for show?
Do you remember where you were on August 27th, 2020? Do you remember the statement the athletes and teams made that day? Less than a year ago, the NHL postponed playoff games after the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) requested that the league do so following the unjust shooting of Jacob Blake and the ongoing efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and Canada.
The NHL released this statement to support the players and their decision:

Statement from the National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League. https://t.co/uV1F5iDeUS pic.twitter.com/JS2t0MvUij
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 27, 2020

The part that gets me the most is, “The NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices, and beyond.” It sounds hopeful, it sounds promising, it sounds like the NHL actually understands the …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs re-sign Joseph Duszak to one-year, two-way deal

When you look at a player of Joseph Duszak’s caliber and the season he had last year with the Toronto Marlies, you’d think — the Maple Leafs should re-sign him. And they did.

#Leafs signed RFA Joseph Duszak1 year / 2-way
NHL: $750,000Minor: $150,000
Duszak will once again be an RFA with Arb rights when his new deal expires next summer.https://t.co/6IpPGG4c4p
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 4, 2021

This is both a very good signing, and an interesting one by the Maple Leafs. It shows that they see his potential and are willing to extend him so he is able to reach that potential.
His next season with the Toronto Marlies is going to be a big one, and one that could lead to an NHL gig. In this video, I discuss what the Maple Leafs have in him and why this was such a good deal for both sides.
I hope you enjoy the video!

 

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto?

Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto?

The Toronto Raptors will look to use both of their second-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft to acquire the next great developmental player that emerges as a quality rotation presence. If they have their heart set on a bigger, offensively-gifted guard, the perfect player for them might be Ohio guard Jason Preston. Preston’s story […]
Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Marlies have a few free agents worth retaining

As we take an all encompassing look at the Leafs free agent situation this summer, it’s necessary to also consider what the Leafs will do in the way of the Marlies free agents. A decision was already made around Antti Suomela, and he was brought back on an AHL deal. A decision was seemingly made on Martin Marincin, who is rumoured to be returning to Slovakia. Whether he spearheaded that decision or the Leafs, it doesn’t really matter, but he will apparently be gone from the Leafs organization next season.
That leaves a handful of others that need at the very least some brief consideration and some others that are no brainers.
We’ll start with the no brainers.
Joseph Woll is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. In all likelihood the Leafs will make him a qualifying offer and he’ll sign it. That will be the last we speak of this for two years. And honestly, that could be where the no brainer decisions end. Every other Marlie player up for free agency either has arbitration rights or will be an unrestricted free agent. That complicates things.
Veini Vehviläinen might be the next closest …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ben Hutton returning wouldn’t be a bad thing, but is it necessary?

As we take a look at the Leafs pending free agents and try to determine what they should do with them, few players warrant more of a “why are you even bothering with this?” response more than Ben Hutton. Writing about Ben Hutton as a Leaf seems completely ridiculous as he spent a grand total of four games in a Leafs uniform, none of which were in the playoffs, which actually might be a selling point for bringing him back.
Hutton’s time with the Leafs saw him playing over 18 minutes a night in the largely meaningless, rest the top players games of spring. Hutton did what was expected of him, he was hitting, blocking shots, and had positive differentials on Corsi and Expected Goals. He was on the ice for a lot of low event hockey, and that’s pretty much what you want from a guy like Hutton.
Hutton’s numbers took a bit of a hit during his time in Anaheim, but his previous season in Los Angeles showed a lot more promise. There’s something to be said for a player like Hutton who is a more capable version of Martin Marincin, and could provide a …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TheLeafsNation Fantasy Gameday — So uh… game seven hey?

Welcome to TheLeafsNation Game Day where we take a look at today’s Leafs game and a few other things happening around the league all with daily fantasy in mind.

They didn’t do it in game five, but can the Leafs make it happen in game six? We’ll find out in a few long hours.
DraftKings has an offer for your first deposit! When you deposit $5 or more, you’ll get $15 in DraftKings dollars! Sign up and join in the action here.
The Matchup

Toronto
Montreal
Record
3-3
3-3
GF/GA
17-11
11-17
Power play %

14.3

11.1

Penalty kill %
88.9

85.7

CF%
52.12
47.88
xGF%
58.32
41.68
PDO
101.2
98.8
Goals in all situations, analytics at 5×5 c/o naturalstattrick.com.
Who I like
Big players show up in big games and the Leafs need Auston Matthews ($9,200) to show up tonight. He’s been generating lots of shots, but has four points in six games — three of which came in game two. He’s still averaging 16.7 FPPG, a slight decrease from his 18.3 in the regular season.
William Nylander ($6,000) has been great for the Leafs in the playoffs scoring seven points in six games. He’s averaging 13.4 FPPG, a slight uptick from his 10.6 in the regular season.
Someone who …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation