Pierre Engvall has catapulted himself as an invaluable option in the top-nine

During Sunday night’s game against the Islanders, Alex Kerfoot became the seventh player on the Leafs to hit the 50-point plateau.
As a result, the Leafs are now tied for second in the NHL alongside the Avalanche for teams with players recording reaching the half-century mark for scoring with only the Blues ahead with eight. It shows that not only does Toronto have one of the best offensive teams in the league this season, but it is also a balanced attack across the board. It is evident by the fact that there are 12 Leafs with at least 10 goals or more on the campaign.
For a team that has yet to find a playoff run where both the primary and secondary scoring options have found life at the same time, it’s an encouraging trend to see some balance down the stretch. So it is no surprise to see that beyond Kerfoot, the rest of the pack are fairly close together in terms of point totals.
Leading that group and sitting seventh on the team in scoring is a player who could become an x-factor if the Leafs want any chance at playoff success: Pierre Engvall.

Career highs set by Pierre Engvall this season:
•Goals: 14•Assists: 17•Points: 31•Shots: 141•Shorthanded goals: 2•Power-play goals: 1•5-on-5 …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Friedman: Rodion Amirov continues to skate with his next round of chemotherapy upcoming

During Saturday night’s edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman provided an update on how Rodion Amriov is doing after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. It’s safe to say the Russian forward is making great strides in his recuperation

Elliotte Friedman provides an update on Rodion Amirov pic.twitter.com/3D1xsWASC4
— alberto (@twistedleafs) April 3, 2022

Friedman reported that Amriov has wrapped up his six weeks of chemotherapy and has another round forthcoming in a month’s time. During that time, he has been on the ice three times a week at a rink the Leafs have rented out for him in Dusseldorf, Germany and in the gym five times a week.
This positive development comes a little over a month after the report first came out that Amirov was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Not only has his recovery gone well to this point, but he also continues to work out and skate when given the chance. It says a lot about how well run the Leafs organization is that they are spending part of their income to ensure that the 15th overall pick of the 2020 draft gets all the help and resources he needs while he recovers.
All the best to Amirove for his next round of chemotherapy! …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs rumours aplenty on Saturday’s 32 Thoughts

Maple Leafs rumours aplenty on Saturday’s 32 Thoughts

The Maple Leafs came up in conversation on Saturday night’s edition of 32 Thoughts as we inch closer and closer to the trade deadline.
During the segment, Jeff Marek discussed a few things, including what Petr Mrazek’s future looks like with Toronto.
“On Leafs netminders, watching [Petr] Mrazek tonight there’s been a lot of speculation about the future of Mrazek with the Maple Leafs considering the Vezina-type season that Jack Campbell is having. So I checked around on this and there’s been no discussion that’s been initiated by the Toronto Maple Leafs about [Petr] Mrazek. They see him as part of the program for this season.
“However, there have been some teams that have called the Maple Leafs and said ‘Look, if you’re looking to make a move with that goaltender, give us a call, we are interested.’ So, very much, there is a marketplace for [Petr] Mrazek, but for Kyle Dubas, all goaltending decisions are summer decisions.”
Marek didn’t stop there in regards to netminders the Maple Leafs might be going for. He said Toronto has been among a number of teams looking at Barrie Colts netminder, Mack Guzda.
“One more goaltender, there’s a man by the name of [Mack] Guzda. He’s an overage netminder, plays for the Barrie Colts of the OHL and that is someone the Maple Leafs are very much trying to sign. Their pursuit, I’m told, is very aggressive. They met with the netminder this week, I belie …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ Jason Spezza offered in-person hearing for hit on Neal Pionk, Simmonds fined

After last night’s Leafs vs. Jets game, which Auston Matthews called a “gongshow,” the NHL Department of Player Safety has handed out some hearings for Jason Spezza and Neal Pionk.
The Department of Player Safety has offered Spezza an in-person hearing, which means the NHL can suspend him for more than five games.

Toronto’s Jason Spezza has been offered an in-person hearing via Zoom for Kneeing Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk. Date and time TBD.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 6, 2021

On this play, Spezza can be seen hitting Pionk while he’s reaching to clear the puck out of the zone with his hand. Spezza goes to throw a hit, and his knee catches Pionk right in the head. Neither one of Spezza or Pionk were penalized on their plays.

Jason Spezza is an avenger
Goes right for Pionk pic.twitter.com/95v2TID9UE
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 6, 2021

Spezza’s hit came after Pionk went knee-on-knee with Rasmus Sandin. Pionk is also getting a hearing of his own, but it’s not in-person.

Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk will have a hearing today for Kneeing Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 6, 2021

This was the play where Pionk …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to prey on Predators

The Leafs enter Tuesday night’s matchup against the Nashville Predators as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, having collected 16 of a possible 20 points over their last ten games. Their 8-2-0 record over those ten games matches the Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knights for second-best in the league, behind the *checks notes* 8-1-1 Nashville Predators?!
Yes, Nashville is on a tear but then again so are the Leafs, which should make tonight’s matchup an intense one. In each of their last ten games, here are how the stats for these two teams match up:
Metric
Toronto
Nashville
Goals For
31
31
Goals Against
23
22
Powerplay %
32.0%
26.9%
Penalty Kill %
88.5%
81.6%
Shooting %
9.2%
12.2%
Save %
92.7%
93.0%
PDO
101.9%
105.2%
Nashville is definitely riding a bit of luck right now based on a very high shooting percentage. These sorts of things happen throughout a season and the Leafs just need to hope the Predators come down to Earth just in time for their matchup. Jack Campbell may be exactly what’s required to put a stop to that.
Opposition players to watch would be Matt Duchene and Roman Josi. During this ten-game streak, Duchene is third in league scoring with 15 points with Josi not far behind in ninth …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the rotation bigs

Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the rotation bigs

Just ahead of Wednesday night’s season opener against the Washington Wizards, we wrap up the Toronto Raptors’ preseason “Best and Worst Case Scenario” series with a glimpse at the rotation big men. You might imagine a worst-case scenario looking a lot like last year’s big man rotation, where Aron Baynes and Alex Len offered nothing […]
Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the rotation bigs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

News and Notes: Matthews returns, new lines, and a couple of injury updates

Following last night’s game which included the apparently unforgivable act of having a student athlete sit on the bench instead of an AHL goaltender, the Leafs have closed out the necessary steps in bringing in Michael Hutchinson as their emergency call up goaltender.
As expected, the Leafs bring up Michael Hutchinson

Whether your issues are that the Leafs shouldn’t have had to wait a game to do this, or if you are offended that the Leafs spend to the salary cap, you can take a deep breath and recognize that it didn’t really matter, and the worst that could have happened was Alex Bishop could have had the night of his life, and we would have been treated to a nice story at the cost of 1/82nd of the results of the regular season.
Mrazek will be out 14 days, which means six games. There are back to back games Friday and Saturday night this week, so it seems likely that Michael Hutchinson will get the start Saturday in Pittsburgh. If he sees anytime in net beyond that it will depend on the health and play of Jack Campbell.
Beyond Mrazek, there are a couple of other injury …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s first look time for the other half of the Leafs roster tonight

Saturday night’s game was a chance for a lot of Leafs fans to regain some optimism in the Leafs team, it was also a chance for a lot of others to shrug their shoulders and say “it’s the preseason, it doesn’t mean anything.” Ultimately the latter is more correct, but admittedly watching any hockey is often better than watching no hockey, and seeing new Leafs for the first time and watching them play well certainly doesn’t hurt anything.
In that spirit the Leafs are back at it tonight, and again there seem to be a few new faces in the lineup…

#Leafs lines at morning skate (at MTL tonight):
Ritchie-Brooks-MarnerGusev-Kampf-KaseMikheyev-Semyonov-SimmondsSeney-SDA-AndersonDouglas
Rielly-DermottDahlstrom-HollRubins-MenellKivihalme-Villenueve
CampbellMrazek
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 27, 2021

So our first look at Nick Ritchie on what we’ll generously call the Adam Brooks line. We’ll get to see an entire line of newbies as Gusev-Kampf-Kase take the ice, and arguably that line might be the highlight of the night as it’s hard to know what to expect of any of them as Kase has been hurt, Kampf we are told is better than his Blackhawk days, and Gusev is here on a PTO.
Ilya …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Injury Updates! Julian Merryweather is pitching again, Cavan Biggio has a UCL sprain, and more

Ahead of last night’s game, the Blue Jays activated reliever Joakim Soria from the Injured List and sent Conor Overton down to Triple-A. Here are a bunch of other injury-related updates…

Julian Merryweather is back on the mound after suffering a setback in his rehab assignment last week. On August 18, Merryweather made his first outing since April with the Dunedin Blue Jays and tossed a scoreless frame. After that, he was said to be dealing with some general soreness, so the team pumped the breaks a bit.
On Tuesday, Merryweather tossed an inning in the Florida Complex League, striking out one while not allowing a hit or a walk. It still seems as though Merryweather is a ways away, but maybe he can make his way back before the end of September. Rosters will be expanded by then, which will help, but, still, given the way things have gone, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
George Springer has been doing drills and live batting practice and he was seen running the bases at the Rogers Centre, which is a good sign. Springer has been on the IL for 10 days now so he’s technically able to return to the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nate Pearson is starting a rehab assignment with the Bisons

After last night’s implosion, the Blue Jays can use any help they can get in the bullpen.

So here’s some good news… Nate Pearson, who’s been out for action for a few months with a sports hernia, is joining the Buffalo Bisons for a rehab assignment. He’ll start the game and toss one inning and then Thomas Hatch will take over in relief.

ROSTER MOVE: #BlueJays #1 prospect, RHP Nate Pearson, has been activated off the injured list and will start for the #Bisons today vs. Rochester! pic.twitter.com/TkaHQVaYDZ
— Buffalo Bisons🦬 (@BuffaloBisons) August 14, 2021

This certainly hasn’t been the season anybody was expecting for Pearson. He got injured early in spring training, missed virtually all of camp, and had to build himself up throughout April. Pearson finally made his 2021 debut for the Bisons on May 4 and was called up to the Blue Jays for his next start due to multiple injuries in the team’s rotation.
Pearson got lit up by the Astros in that outing, allowing three earned runs on four hits and five walks while striking out nobody over two-and-one-third innings.
He was sent down after that and struggled in his first few …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation