Jake Muzzin’s rough start exemplifies Leafs’ early struggles

To say that not much has gone well for the Leafs through the early part of the season would be a massive understatement. They have dealt with injuries, their offensive stars have almost completely been held off the scoresheet and the team has struggled mightily to create offense in transition – something that has been a strength for this group in the past. The defensive unit hasn’t been getting the job done either, namely the shutdown pairing of Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl who have excelled in that role in the last couple of seasons.

Keefe on Muzzin and Holl: “Just two guys that haven’t played at the level that we’ve come to expect from them. Those guys take on a lot of tough assignments and it is difficult for them. But we’ve come to expect them to thrive in that position and it hasn’t happened here yet.”
— David Alter (@dalter) October 25, 2021

Given the team’s overall struggles, it may seem unfair to point the finger in any one direction but Muzzin and Holl have stood out from the crowd so far, and for all the wrong reasons.
While Holl has found a way to complement Muzzin on that pairing …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from tough loss to Bulls

Toronto Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from tough loss to Bulls

The Toronto Raptors thought that the combination of Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. in the starting lineup and Chris Boucher coming off the bench would be enough to break their short two-game slide against old friend DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, that plan started to go astray in the second quarter. With […]
Toronto Raptors: 1 stud and 1 dud from tough loss to Bulls – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

How should the Toronto Raptors line up when Pascal Siakam returns?

How should the Toronto Raptors line up when Pascal Siakam returns?

Considering all of the deserved hype that Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby have earned over the course of the preseason slate, it’s easy to forget that when the Toronto Raptors are at full strength, Pascal Siakam will be the unquestioned top option on the offensive end. He’s eager to prove doubters wrong after a shaky […]
How should the Toronto Raptors line up when Pascal Siakam returns? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The TLN Three Stars: We pretty well saw that coming, didn’t we?

After the Penguins announced that most of their players were missing, it seemed inevitable that our beloved Maple Leafs would lose this game. But to lose in such spectacular, disastrous fashion, I don’t think even the most pessimistic Leafs fan could have called that.
To lose by 6 goals was depressing, to say the least. It was a completely disheartening performance.
What a disaster.
3rd star: Michael Bunting I guess?
He looked alright on a play or two I think. There wasn’t really much to praise in this game, especially with the penalites late on into the game, but his grittiness and passion at least made him watchable in this tire fire.
2nd star: Do I have to? Maybe TJ Brodie?
He broke up a 2-on-1 that was pretty impressive. I think he played well overall. Not many others did.
1st star: Jason Spezza
Where would we be without Jason Spezza? The man who for whatever reason has tied his boat to this team, an impossibly heavy anchor, we should be eternally grateful. Scoring that goal in the 1st period was the only real bright spot in this game.
40th star: Kasperi Kapanen
Somehow, despite all of the madness …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win

Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win

Maybe it’s the fact that 16 of the NBA’s top 75 have played in white and green, but there’s always something satisfying about Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors sticking it to the Boston Celtics. Even as Celtics victories go, Friday night’s win was extremely pleasurable to sit through. For starters, the team was coming […]
Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Leafs looking for Clutchinson to kick start their back to back

It was inevitable that we’d see Michael Hutchinson this season, but even as someone who follows the Leafs and knows of their uncanny ability to the find the most difficult path, I don’t think I would have ever guessed that Hutchinson would be playing for the Leafs by Game Five. These things happen, and as much as I’m always afraid of saying this when it comes to the Leafs, it could be worse. Hutchinson had a .919 save percentage in his eight games last season. That looks pretty decent, right? Of course it doesn’t account for the fact that 3 of the 8 appearances were sub .900, including Hutch being chased six minutes into a game against Ottawa after giving up two goals on the first three shots.
Hutch is a mixed bag, but given the fact that it’s a back to back, it was going to be necessary to start him at some point this weekend. Interestingly enough the Leafs chose to give Hutch the first game of the back to back, and the game played at home. The decision to start Hutchinson also shortens Campbell’s rest between starts as he’ll go tomorrow night in Pittsburgh, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Wizards Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 20

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Wizards Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 20

The Toronto Raptors are finally bringing an end to a wait that lasted nearly two years, as they are finally returning to Scotiabank Arena for their first regular-season home game in almost two whole years. Some of the most recent Raptors odds have them pulling off a win in this triumphant return. Toronto will take […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Wizards Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 20 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation?

Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation?

The Toronto Raptors are looking for anyone that is willing to step and assert themselves in what looks likes a very fluid rotation, and they aren’t excluding undrafted free agent Justin Champagnie from that mission. The Raptors might’ve used their three selections in the 2021 NBA Draft on some studs with potential on both ends […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun”

The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun”

When looking at the teams of old that were so iconic, so unique, that they warranted a nickname of their own, you may think that they need to be one of the most devastating teams in basketball history. Phi Slama Jama, The Bad Boy Pistons, The Showtime Lakers, etc. By that metric, Scottie Barnes and 2021-22 Toronto […]
The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun” – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Leafs waive Brooks, keep Amadio, and can use some LTIR space

It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you many around Leafs Nation will lose sleep over the possibility of Adam Brooks being claimed off of waivers. A big part of this is because Brooks has found the scoresheet in his limited time with the Leafs and is priced ideally for sliding into the bottom part of the Leafs lineup. Brooks has strong hockey sense, and a willingness to take on whatever role has been asked of him when he’s in the lineup. Those are important qualities and risking depth at center is never fun.
On the flip side of that, the reality is Adam Brooks is absolutely the kind of player that goes on waivers. He’s very much an AHL/NHL tweener at this stage, and Engvall, Semyonov, and Amadio are all around to offer some center depth this year as well. Sending Brooks down on a high traffic waivers day before roster finalization is likely an attempt to sneak him through and Amadio could be waived once the Leafs know Brooks is safe.
That said, Amadio had a solid camp for the Leafs and very well could have beat Brooks out for the final roster …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation