Leafs look to avoid first series loss this season against Canucks

Since the season started almost two months ago, the Leafs have played 13 different “series’” this season, also counting just a single game against an opponent as one. Going into tonight’s game, they have yet to lose one, but that may be in jeopardy tonight, as the Leafs look to rebound from Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Of course, it’s not like the Leafs played bad in that game. They actually played quite well for the first two periods, but once the third period rolled around, it was fairly obvious that fatigue was getting to them, as they were playing their 4th game in 6 nights, and the second half of a back to back. That fatigue may still be there for tonight’s game, but it probably shouldn’t be as big of a factor as Thursday’s game.
For the Canucks, they had lost five of their last six going into the game, so it might have been a big boost in team morale, especially without Elias Pettersson. But, since a 6-5-0 start to the season, they have gone 4-10-2, so those wins have come few and far between these days. However, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

DFO Rundown: The Leafs don’t need to make a splash ahead of the Trade Deadline

We’re nearing the midpoint of the 2021 season and the Toronto Maple Leafs have the most points in the NHL.

After a commanding three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers, the Leafs own an 18-5-2 record, sit seven points clear of the Winnipeg Jets for the top spot in the Canadian Division, and are in legitimate contention for the Presidents’ Trophy.
As great as a dominant regular season in, of course, the Leafs’ ultimate goal this season is to go deep into the playoffs, which is something the franchise hasn’t done since before the 2004-05 lockout.
With the Trade Deadline just over one month away, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor spoke on the DFO Rundown about whether or not the Leafs should make a big splash to cement themselves as the team to beat come playoff time.
YAREMCHUK: There’s lot of talk that the Leafs could maybe add Mikael Granlund at the trade deadline, but I think they can aim higher than that. I think a name like Taylor Hall makes sense in Toronto. Frank, I’ll start with you. Buying or selling on the Leafs adding a significant top-six winger at the deadline?
SERAVALLI: So just from …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Are the Toronto Raptors legit contenders in the crowded East?

Are the Toronto Raptors legit contenders in the crowded East?

Despite starting the season 2-8, the Toronto Raptors now see themselves sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 17-17 record and 5 games back of first place. After a rocky start to their 2021 season, the Raptors have now strung some wins together and look more and more like the old Raptors […]
Are the Toronto Raptors legit contenders in the crowded East? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Tweaking the league’s second best powerplay

Despite having one of the best powerplays this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have really struggled to create chances at times. It can be incredibly frustrating to watch Mitch Marner shoot the puck in the middle of goalies’ chests, but it’s just as frustrating to see Morgan Rielly take one-timers from the right side when the ideal person to do so is Auston Matthews.
After Saturday night against the Oilers, the Leafs had the league’s best powerplay percentage at 33.3%, with Chicago, Buffalo, Washington, and Dallas just behind them. Since the 2018/19 season, the Leafs have trailed Tampa, Boston, Edmonton, and Florida, who have had a powerplay percentage of 24% or better. That’s not to say the Leafs’ 23.8% effectiveness is bad, but they don’t look as dominant as Tampa or Boston have been in recent years.
One of the constants that could change is how the Leafs generate a number of chances from the middle of the slot and the right side of the ice. We can point to Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for that, as the two send the puck towards the net from the right side of the ice a lot more than they do from …

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Author: Matthew Henriques / The Leafs Nation

Matthews out as Leafs look to keep lead on second place Oilers

For the second time this season, the Leafs will be without Auston Matthews against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers as both teams square off in this three game series. The first time this happened, the Leafs found themselves on the winning side with a 4-2 win, but will they be able to repeat that success again?
It isn’t all bad news on the injury front for the Leafs, as they will see Joe Thornton and Jake Muzzin return after missing the last two games, and Jack Campbell will make his first start in over a month after dealing with a Tkachuk-related injury. Having the NHL leading goal scorer out and not being able to match up against the NHL leading point scorer will hurt, but the roster is a bit more well rounded in other areas at the very least.
The Leafs come into tonight’s game after splitting a two game series with the Calgary Flames. They struggled to beat David Rittich in a 3-0 loss in the first game, and those struggles continued until the dying minutes of the second game, as William Nylander got the game tying goal with just minutes to spare, and then …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

A new theory has emerged about why the Leafs didn’t trade for Nick Jensen

Throughout the 2018-19 season, many Leafs fans were clamouring for the team to acquire then Red Wings defenceman Nick Jensen to help improve the backend. His playstyle appeared to match what Kyle Dubas was looking to add and the asking price was likely going to be reasonably low. A deal between Toronto and Detroit ultimately never materialized and Jensen ended up getting traded to the Capitals at the deadline.
There was a lingering doubt of wonder as to why the Leafs did not go through with a trade to acquire the American defender. Nearly two years after his initial trade to Washington, we now have a better idea as to why:

My third favorite Mike Babcock story:
At the 2019 trade deadline we were discussing bringing in RD Nick Jensen from DET to play on an active, puck-moving 3rd pair with Dermott.
MB essentially said fine, but if we get him then he’ll put Jensen in and sit Dermott.

— Jack Han (@JhanHky) February 24, 2021

Jack Han was formerly a Hockey Operations Assistant and a Player Development Analyst for the the Leafs, so he would have had the first-hand experience of what went on behind the scenes. The basic takeaway is that Mike …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Injuries plague Maple Leafs in loss to Flames – Rate That Leafs Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs started this season off very well and have now run into injury troubles. With six players out, Sheldon Keefe had to do some line juggling in this game and I don’t believe it worked.
We also got news after the game on the extent of Frederik Andersen’s injury and what his timeline to return would look like.
For the Leafs though, this game was what I’d call a throw-away game. It was unlucky, they were goalie’d by David Rittich and penalties cost them at the end of the game. Plus, Toronto didn’t score on seven power play opportunities which didn’t help.
This team knows that if it’s a bad game, they move on and I think that’s what they plan to do after this one. And so do I. Enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers

Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers

At the beginning of the season, the Toronto Raptors trading Kyle Lowry looked like a foregone conclusion. The team was 2-8, and Lowry is a pending free agent. Trading him could’ve helped Toronto lean into a rebuild. Since that poor start, however, Toronto has won 14 of their last 21 games, becoming the No. 4 […]
Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter?

Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter?

The Toronto Raptors started their 2021 season not quite on the right foot as we all know by now. However, recently they’ve been racking up the wins and now hold a 13-15 record after starting 2-8 on the year. The Raptors’ slow start to the season was a mixture of a whole bunch of factors, […]
Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Toronto Marlies announce opening night roster

The Toronto Marlies open their 2021 season tonight against the Manitoba Moose, which they’ve just released the roster for:

The Marlies announced today the hockey club’s 2020-21 opening night roster. #ForeverStartsHere
Details » https://t.co/FES8j3rqt1 pic.twitter.com/BqxygZm3PQ
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) February 15, 2021

 
This roster consists of players who we’ve already seen play at the NHL level like Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, Adam Brooks and Joey Anderson. Plus some old faces who we saw last season in the AHL, too.
After looking at the roster, the look for concern is at the goaltending. With Joseph Woll on the taxi squad with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ian Scott out of the lineup due to an injury, the Marlies are looking to lean on three goaltenders who are on professional and amateur tryouts. This will be interesting.
If you want to catch tonight’s game, you can watch them over at AHLTV.com (it should be for free).

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation