Betting on Kerfoot is likely the best option for the Leafs

When Kyle Dubas said he believes in the Leafs roster, we should probably take him at his word. The fact that Kyle Dubas traded for Jared McCann in hopes that he’d either be the replacement for Kerfoot or (what actually happened) that he’d be the bait in order to keep Alexander Kerfoot probably proves that he wants to give it another go with this group.
As someone who has spent the better part of the last two years trying to trade Alex Kerfoot, I’ve now moved past denial and reached acceptance that Kerfoot will be a Leaf next season. It’s September. The Leafs are essentially capped out, and unless one of the GM’s around the league is a secret admirer of Kerfoot, there’s no reason to believe that Alex is going to be on the move. There would have been several points over the past couple of months where a deal would have made sense, but at this point unless Toronto has been sitting on a true hockey trade all summer, it seems that he’ll play.
The first couple of paragraphs so far probably have the tone of Kerfoot being a bad player, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

There’s no one way to be a hockey fan, and that’s okay

I took the summer off from hockey.
There. I said it, acknowledged it, it’s out there and real. I tried for a while to play it off like my life got busy, I was overwhelmed with moving and work, etc etc. And all of that is true. But what is also true is I made a conscious choice to step back from something I love, that is a huge part of my life. I made a choice, and I took the summer off from really thinking about or closely following the NHL, the Leafs, and hockey at large, to be honest.
I am a diehard hockey fan – I love the game, I love my hometown team, I love women’s hockey. But by the end of the Leafs season, the game of hockey was bringing me more stress than joy. And so I needed to take a step back, I needed to take time away from this thing I love so much. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make me less of a fan.
I’m going to repeat that – it does not make me less of a fan.
Why did I need a break? What brought it …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Saturday’s huge win overshadowed by Sunday’s frustrating loss

About two months ago, I wrote an article that said the phrase “get bullpen help” a thousand times. While I won’t be doing that for this article, the point still stands.

I’m currently writing this in the bottom of the seventh. Thus far, the Jays are 1-13 with runners in scoring position. This includes three separate times with no outs early in the game. In fact, their offense only started to pick up after the third time through the order against Rich Hill.
Things worth mentioning
Top of the 6th
The Jays scored three runs to make it 3-1, yet it was still quite painful to watch. Springer got hit with a 69 mph curveball on a 3-2 count. Not the pain I was talking about, but nice. Vlad hit a rocket off the wall for a single. Semien walked and the Jays had the bases loaded for Bichette.
Hill was taken out of the game and Bichette hit a two run single off of Lugo. The start of the pain kicks in now. Teo hits a tailor made double play ball which would have scored a run, but the Mets third basemen decided to go home with it …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The NHL Award season mercifully ends

I’ve often said the real winner of the NHL Awards is anyone who just wants as long as possible without hearing about the NHL Awards, so in that sense, today I feel like a winner. Hooray for me.
If you are a person who needs to see players from your favourite team validated with an individual award despite an underwhelming year for the team, then you’re probably an Oilers fan, and just rage clicking on any link on Oilersnation because you’re so furious that Leon Draisaitl wasn’t unanimous in the second place Hart votes. Or maybe you do care about this shit. Who am I to judge, I like lots of dumb shit too. Let’s look at how the Leafs did tonight.
What they won…

the nhl has named their first and second team all stars
— zach laing (@zjlaing) June 30, 2021

If you weren’t sure whether or not they voted on awards before or after the start of the playoffs, look no further than First All-Star Team Winger, Mitch Marner. Marner had one more point than Mikko Rantanen and Patrick Kane, that so that’s really all you need to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Looking forward after Leafs locker clean out day

There was a lot said from the players, management and fans over the last few days. Some good, some not so good.
But after today, you sort of have a sense of where the Toronto Maple Leafs will be going when they move forward. It really seems like they won’t do much this off-season, but to just better themselves.
Here’s everything important that happened today from the Leafs final presser of the season. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Day After Thoughts: Soupy shutouts and the Alex Galchenyuk Revenge Tour

Josh Anderson said of the Montreal Canadiens coming into Game 4 against the Toronto Maple Leafs “you’ll see a hungrier team tonight,” and in hindsight, the Habs should not have skipped their pregame meal.
An air of uncertainty hung over the Leafs in the leadup to Game 4. Sheldon Keefe didn’t appear in front of the media to provide any lineup updates until about two hours before puck drop, so all day, the waves of speculation raged: would Campbell be trusted to start on back-to-back nights or would the ice-cold Frederik Andersen be called upon? Would Nick Foligno return? Would any of the veterans take the night off in favour of getting some young blood in?
And once the updates did arrive, one particular lineup change sparked some confusion: Rasmus Sandin would be sitting and Travis Dermott would draw in. In less controversial moves, Riley Nash drew out in favour of Adam Brooks.
The young Brooks’ chemistry with the grizzled vets on the fourth line bubbled back to the surface early in the game as he set Jason Spezza on a clean breakaway with a brilliant pass. This play unfortunately didn’t result in the opening goal, but it’s …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Mitch Marner’s Underappreciated Greatness — Staturday Weekly Column #18

What can be said about great players that hasn’t already been said? Especially around these parts. Those players who see themselves leading the Maple Leafs in some capacity can’t escape media attention. It’s the nature of being part of the NHL team with the largest fanbase: the more fans there are, the more media coverage can be consumed. It’s simple economics. Supply and demand.
Acknowledging that, I have to ask: how is it that Mitchell Marner has gone underappreciated? This is a player who was highly drafted, playing an important role, and yet the positive coverage is always on Auston Matthews. The negative coverage, too, misses Marner. It’s quite an interesting spectacle: when bad times come, Marner is a player who can’t be disrespected like William Nylander is constantly, or John Tavares is occasionally. At the same time, he also doesn’t see the glow-ups that Matthews does, or Morgan Rielly, or Jack Campbell, in the good times.
Look at the most recent stories featuring Marner: how he experienced Auston Matthews getting drafted; or about how great his mullet looks.
It’s not just me who sees this trend, Kristen Shilton made the very …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Nick Robertson

What can be said about Nick Robertson that hasn’t already been said? He has quickly proven to be a potential draft steal following a phenomenal showing in the 2019-20 OHL season, played a big role on the US team during the 2020 World Juniours, and got to make his NHL debut in August.
All of that resulted in him being listed number one on TLN’s prospect ranking, which is well deserved given what he’s accomplished. Not bad for the second-round pick who was just days removed from the cut-off date to qualify for the 2019 NHL Draft.
It should come as no surprise that Robertson’s number is 55.
They are the number of goals he scored for the Peterborough Petes prior to COVID-19 prematurely ending the season. He had scored 1.12 goals per game, meaning he could have finished with 81 goals if he kept up his pace over a 68 game OHL season.
That along with a strong work ethic is why he earned a chance to play for the Leafs in the play-in round against the Blue Jackets where he scored his first NHL goal and made history.

Nick Robertson is the first 18-year-old to score a post-season goal for …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

All-Canadian Preview: The Montreal Canadiens are a wild-card

The Canadian Division is a sandwich.

As I said yesterday, it’s a clear bet that the Ottawa Senators wind up at the bottom of the group, and I also think it’s reasonable to assume that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the team to beat. Between them, though? That’s anyone’s guess.
The biggest wild-card of those middle five teams is the Montreal Canadiens.
What happened last season…
31-31-9 (71 points), 5th in Atlantic Division 
Goals For: 212 (18th of 31), Goals Against: 221 (23rd of 31)
10-3-2 vs Canadian opponents
2-0-0 vs CGY, 0-2-0 vs EDM, 3-0-1 vs OTT, 3-0-0 vs TOR, 1-0-1 vs VAN, 1-1-0 vs WPG
The Habs were the definition of mediocre last season.
They posted a 31-31-9 record, finished in the middle of the pack in terms of goals scored, and finished in the bottom third of the league in goals against. They had a bunch of good-not-great players produce at a good-not-great level and their star, Carey Price, wasn’t the elite goaltender they needed him to be in the regular season.
Despite being nowhere near a playoff spot when the league got paused due to COVID-19 in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs sign Zach Bogosian to a 1-year, $1 million contract

Hours after Kyle Dubas said he was looking to add physicality on the blueline, he did just that by signing a recent Stanley Cup champion.

Welcome to Leafs Nation, Zach!
We’ve signed Zach Bogosian to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 11, 2020

According to the Leafs, the deal has an average annual value of $1 million for the 2020-21 season.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation