Predicting where each big Toronto Raptors free agent signs

Predicting where each big Toronto Raptors free agent signs

The Toronto Raptors will be one of the most active teams in free agency. Turns out, when three of your six best players are scheduled to hit the open market, the offseason microscope might focus on you. This is a sharp change of pace from the last few offseason cycles. The Raptors have center Jakob […]
Predicting where each big Toronto Raptors free agent signs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs erase 4-1 deficit in the final 11 minutes, win 5-4 in overtime: Game Highlights

The Leafs had one of their most clutch performances of the last decade on Monday night. They found themselves down 4-1 with just over ten minutes remaining and somehow managed to tie it up. Alex Kerfoot scored the game winner in overtime to give Toronto a 3-1 series lead.
Ilya Samsonov stood tall early on. After Brandon Hagel drew a penalty shot shorthanded, Samsonov calmly denied the Lightning winger…

Samsonov denies Hagel on the penalty shot 🙅‍♂️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 24, 2023

A couple minutes later Alex Killorn got off the schneid. The two time cup champ hadn’t scored in 29 consecutive playoff games before this tally. He finished a beautiful touch pass from Nikita Kucherov to put the Bolts up 1-0…

Killorn converts on the power play to open the scoring! 🚨
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 24, 2023

Late in the first Mikhail Sergachev double Tampa Bay’s lead. Kucherov with another primary assist moving the puck across the seam…

Sergachev rips one past Samsonov to put Tampa up two! ✌️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 25, 2023

Noel Acciari got things going for the Leafs in the second period. Ryan O’Reilly stripped Kucherov to keep the play alive. He found Justin Holl at the point and the Toronto defender threw the puck on net. Acciari tipped it past Andrei Vasilevskiy to bring the game within one…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 25, 2023

The Lightning kept pressing for an insurance goal and nearly got it. Anthony Cirelli pushed the puck towards the net but Matthew Knies was there to prevent the goal…

Knies save Matthew 👀
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 25, 2023

A few minutes later Steven Stamkos scored his first goal of the series. Just after his penalty expired Victor Hedman shot the puck off the foot of Stamkos to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead…

Stammer gets his first of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! ⚡️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 25, 2023

With 1:11 remaining in the second period Killorn scored his second of the game. Sergachev hit Hagel with a beauty stretch pass and he droppe …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Matt Knies arrives, Niemelä nets his first, Moldenhauer stays hot: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Matthew Knies was a completely unknown commodity for most fans when the Leafs selected him 57th overall in the 2021 draft, but his play with the Minnesota Golden Gophers over the last two seasons has promptly catapulted him to the top of Toronto’s prospect pipeline, and now, the NHL.
Knies’s sophomore season came to a heartbreaking end in the National Championship game in Tampa Bay on Saturday night, as Quinnipiac tied the game with their goalie pulled late in the third period before ending the game in stunning fashion just 10 seconds into overtime. Knies flew back to Minnesota with his teammates, but he won’t have long to dwell on the loss after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Leafs on Sunday.
The Leafs had to partake in some salary cap gymnastics to make it happen, but when all was said and done on Sunday, Knies was signed and on his way back to Florida to join his new teammates. His contract will carry a cap hit of $925k annually, and there are no performance bonuses included in the deal.
With Calle Järnkrok still considered day-to-day and Wayne Simmonds assigned to the Marlies in order to create th …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Jose Berrios got lit up by the Royals … but at least the home run drought is over!

One of the most anticipated debuts of the 2023 season was that of Jose Berrios, who’s 2022 season appeared to be an outlier amongst the rest of his career. Would an offseason of work, tweaks, and film study pay off for the 28-year-old righty?

The answer for tonight, at least, was no. Although pitching far longer than his season debut last season, Berrios gave up more earned runs than that outing, giving up 8 earned on 9 hits over 5.2 innings of work on Monday night, as Toronto dropped the first of a four-game set in Kansas City 9-5. It is already the third time this season that the Jays have allowed nine runs in a game.
The Blue Jays were facing a far inferior lineup as opposed to what they were up against during opening weekend in St. Louis. They couldn’t get anything going off of Royals starter Brady Singer, who was making his season debut tonight like Berrios. To make matters worse, Ryan Yarbrough saw action in tonight’s game for Kansas City. We just can’t avoid him.

Berrios and Bassitt are putting up Roark and Anderson numbers
— Lewis (@JaysKid_RHP) April 4, 2023

Blue Jays Nation Player of the Game: Zach Pop
Sure, he allowed a 2-run homer to MJ Melendez in the 6th inning, but Pop had electric stuff tonight. Despite …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Lyon and the Cats scratch out a 3-2 overtime win in Toronto: Game Highlights

Toronto dominated Florida for most of the game on Wednesday night. All four lines were creating chances for the Leafs but Alex Lyon was the best player on the ice. The 30 year old goaltender stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced to pick up two points for a team desperately pushing for a playoff spot. Below are the highlights from the game.
One minute into the game, the Panthers got on the board first. Jake McCabe turned the puck over with a weak pass into the skates of John Tavares. Seconds later, Anton Lundell put it in the back of the net…

The Cats strike first! 💥
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 29, 2023

Auston Matthews had the Leafs first quality chance about 7:30 into the first. He picked the puck up off the offensive zone draw, circled the net and tried to tuck home the wraparound. Lyon stood tall…

Matthews on the wraparound
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 29, 2023

Toronto controlled most of the period but Lyon was the best player on the ice over the first 20 minutes. Late in the frame Timothy Liljegren set up Zach Aston-Reese in front. The Panthers goaltender came out on top again…

closer look at the Liljegren to ZAR deflection
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2023

The Leafs finally solved Lyon a couple minutes into the second. Aston-Reese perfectly deflected TJ Brodie’s point shot to make it 1-1…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 30, 2023

Just over halfway through the period Florida had a rare scoring chance. Aaron Ekblad joined the attack and tried to beat Ilya Samsonov short side…

Samsonov makes the shoulder save on Ekblad
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 30, 2023

Aston-Reese …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

3 Raptors who have earned a spot on the 2023-24 roster

3 Raptors who have earned a spot on the 2023-24 roster

The Toronto Raptors have played most of the year with a very suspect second unit, as the lack of consistent 3-point shooting off the bench and inability to perform when the chips are down are part of the reason Toronto is a play-in contender rather than a playoff fixture. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that […]
3 Raptors who have earned a spot on the 2023-24 roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs fall 5-3 to Hurricanes on Saturday night: Game highlights

The Leafs controlled the play for most of the game against the Hurricanes on Saturday night but Pyotr Kochetkov made 41 saves and  Carolina took home the W 5-3. Below are the highlights from the game.
Toronto got into penalty trouble early and the Hurricanes capitalized on the 5-on-3 to open the scoring. Brent Burns beat Matt Murray glove side to put Carolina on top…

Burn baby Burns! Canes convert on the 5 on 3 power play to open the scoring. 🌪️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 25, 2023

Jordan Stall doubled the Canes lead halfway through the first period. The puck came to him in the slot off a broken play and he swatted it top shelf…

Good things (goals) happen when you forecheck
— x – Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 25, 2023

Near the end of the period Jake McCabe created a scoring chance off a neutral zone draw. Sam Lafferty tried to put the rebound home but Pyotr Kochetkov shut the door…

McCabe breaks through off the draw
Lafferty nearly scored on the rebound
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 25, 2023

Less than five minutes into the second Calle Jarnkrok got the Leafs on the board. He sniped a wrist shot from the top of the circle to get Toronto within one…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 26, 2023

Midway through the middle frame Auston Matthews nearly tied it up with a scoring chance off the offensive zone draw. Kochetkov kept the Canes in front…

Matthews is denied again
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 26, 2023

Matthews found the back of the net 12:41 into the second. He pounced on the puck at the top of the circle and ripped a wrist shot past Kochetkov to make it 2-2…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 26, 2023

Just over eight minutes into the third period Stefan Noesen gave the Canes the lead again. Jesperi Kotkaniemi threw the puck on net and Noesen picked it up. He attempted a wrap-around then forced the puck into the net. 3-2 Canes…

— x – Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 26, 2023

With less the …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Exploring three internal injury replacements for Mitch White

Heading into this spring, most of the Toronto Blue Jays roster was already set, with 25 of the 26 spots decided upon, leaving room for internal competition involving the final bench position. But another role could open up in the bullpen if Mitch White isn’t ready by Opening Day.
White, acquired by Toronto from the Los Angeles Dodgers at last season’s trade deadline, was impacted by a right shoulder impingement over the winter and entered spring training behind schedule. The injury is behind him, although it significantly delayed his off-season throwing program, forcing him to build up his stamina in camp with the team before being cleared for game action.
The 28-year-old is still a ways out from that progression, though, as he has yet to face any live hitters thus far. And he’s starting to run up against the clock. He did throw a 40-pitch side session over the weekend, which is a step in the right direction, but he still has a few hurdles to jump before making his 2023 spring debut.

Mitch White, whose spring build-up has been delayed by a right shoulder impingement, is expecting to throw a 40-pitch side session this weekend at Blue Jays camp.
Next steps after that would be facing hitters in a live bullpen and then getting into games.
— Arden …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Will Gary Trent Jr. or OG Anunoby start for fully healthy Raptors?

Will Gary Trent Jr. or OG Anunoby start for fully healthy Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors have had one of the most immutable starting lineups in basketball over the last few years. All-Star Pascal Siakam and second-year standout Scottie Barnes would make up the frontcourt, OG Anunoby would hang out in the corner, and the Fred VanVleet/Gary Trent Jr. duo would comprise the backcourt. The acquisition of Jakob […]
Will Gary Trent Jr. or OG Anunoby start for fully healthy Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2023 NHL Draft: Five European targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Europe can be one of the most challenging areas to scout.
You can have an elite talent ripping up their respective country’s U-20 league, only to earn an NHL call-up and not see a single shift. That happens all too often – even to guys like Lucas Raymond – so it’s tough to get a good read on a guy when that happens.
But, that pro experience, even if small, is always interesting. And when they’re dominating any level against their peers, it’s noteworthy. So while you won’t see any European prospects putting up 90 points a year like in the CHL, even a 20-point season in the KHL or Liiga is huge.
So, let’s look at five European-based players the Leafs could look to select with their first pick in the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville:
Kasper Halttunen, RW (HIFK, Liiga)
From a points perspective, there’s not much to see this season. Halttunen scored just one assist in 25 games and his ice time has fluctuated anywhere from around 16 minutes a night to not even getting a shift. But his play in the U-20 league and internationally has turned some heads, and it helps that he stands at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds. The big power forward is skilled, can shoot from anywhere and is built like …

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Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation