The Leafs three stars of a week where the top line takes over

On a hot streak with a record of 13-2-0 in their last 15 games, the Toronto Maple Leafs entered week eight of the season looking to continue that and continue their current win streak which was at three games as they entered Anaheim to play the Ducks Sunday night. With games against the Avalanche and the Wild later that week, the Maple Leafs were in for a tough week given that all three teams have played well thus far this season and this week was going to be just as an important one as the week where they played the Golden Knights, Lightning, and Bruins.
Well, Sunday night after beating the Kings and Sharks to begin their California road trip, Toronto walked into the building and came away with an impressive 5-1 win against a Ducks team that is overachieving this season. Despite them overachieving so far this season, Anaheim is still playing good hockey and has a couple of players having breakout seasons this year. Anyways, if Toronto can go through California and come away with three wins, then it’s a good time.
Now on a four-game winning streak, Toronto is finally back home after a four-game road …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

News from the Rink: Marner exits Leafs practice early, Morgan Rielly absent

The Leafs had their final practice in Toronto before heading to Minnesota for tomorrow night’s game. Toronto will also play Sunday in Winnipeg.
Toronto is currently the hottest team in the NHL right now, winning 15 of their last 17 games.
Lines at Leafs practice on Friday
Here’s how Toronto’s lines shaped up this afternoon at Ford Performance Centre.

Morgan Rielly absent from Leafs practice.
Practice lines:
Bunting-Matthews-MarnerKerfoot-Tavares-NylanderEngvall-Kampf-KaseRitchie-Spezza-Simmonds
Extras: Mikheyev, Clifford, Anderson
Sandin-BrodieMuzzin-HollDermott-Liljegren
WollHutchinsonCampbell (departs early)
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) December 3, 2021

Morgan Rielly absent from practice
Morgan Rielly was absent from Leafs practice on Friday, which is likely the biggest news of today. I don’t usually speculate, but on the Leafs’ Instagram after Wednesday’s game, there was a story of them returning to the locker room after a win. To me, it looked like Rielly was in some discomfort walking into the room. He also might have been walking with a limp.
But Sheldon Keefe, after practice, says he will play on Saturday night.

Keefe says Rielly is recovering from a blocked shot he suffered in Cali. X-ray came back negative and they expect him to play.
— David Alter (@dalter) December 3, 2021

This explains the limp he was walking …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

3 rotation position battles the Raptors must watch in December

3 rotation position battles the Raptors must watch in December

The Toronto Raptors have been leaning on their star scorers more than any team in the league this season, as they have the lowest-scoring bench in the league. Players like Dalano Banton, Yuta Watanabe, and Precious Achiuwa need to do their part and step up to take some of the pressure off. The Raptors don’t […]
3 rotation position battles the Raptors must watch in December – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

TLN Three Stars: Unknown 16-year-old gets past security, scores hat trick against Avs

This had all the makings of a bad game for the Leafs.
It’s their first game back in Toronto after a four game road trip that they swept. They’re up against a dominant Avalanche team. Nathan MacKinnon is playing his first game back from injury. Nazem Kadri is on a tear and coming back to play in his old barn. They had their third stringer in net after an injury to Darcy Kuemper forced their hand, with the potential for an EBUG. It just seemed like the kind of game the Leafs would lose.
Not only did they not lose the game, they blew the Avalanche out of the water. It started out with one of their best periods of the season in the first as they exploded for a 3-0 lead, and while the Avs tried to get themselves back into the game with a couple goals to make it 3-2, the Leafs quickly got back up to a three goal lead, and then kept adding to it, resulting in an 8-3 win. While the goaltending for the Avs wasn’t the strongest, resulting in the lopsided score, the underlying numbers were well in the Leafs favour …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays have altered the way free agents view their organization

Throughout their years of existence, the Toronto Blue Jays largely haven’t been considered a popular destination for free agents, but recently, that same narrative has begun to change, particularly in 2021.

Acting as the lone Canadian franchise in Major League Baseball, historically, there’s been a running theme about how this team hasn’t been able to attract marquee players in free agency, at least, that was the case up until the last few winters.
Whether it was the disparity between the American and Canadian dollars, concerns about income tax, being forced to pass through customs when crossing the border or having to experience the unpredictable weather in April and May, this fanbase had grown accustomed to hearing all of these excuses year after year. And yet, none of that mattered for Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019.
Breaking past the organization’s previous woes to land a high-profile name in free agency, Ryu agreed to join the Blue Jays despite being highly coveted by the rest of the league, signing a four-year, $80-million deal. Still to this day, it remains the largest contract handed out to a free-agent pitcher in franchise history, at least for now.
While it may not have …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Grizzlies Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 30

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Grizzlies Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 30

The Toronto Raptors have lost nine of their last 12 games, putting this team on a crash course for the lottery if they don’t manage to turn things around quickly. Will the latest Raptors odds claim that they are going to get back to winning or stay mired in their losing ways? Nick Nurse and […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Grizzlies Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 30 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Leafs November reign raised expectations and hopes

The Leafs were never as bad as their October. A team with Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner, not to mention a strong supporting cast of TJ Brodie, Jack Campbell, Morgan Rielly, and others was not going to be 2-4-1 bad. In fact even the October 2-4-1 start was a bit exaggerated, as by the end of the month they had rebounded to 4-4-1, which while still underwhelming spoke to the fact that the Leafs have a finite amount of time they can be bad for, they just have the unfortunate habit of picking the playoffs for that time.
Now a 12-2-0 November, and a 14-2-0 stretch if you blissfully include those last couple of games in October is a bit of an inflated sense of how good the Leafs can be as well, albeit a far more enjoyable stretch of hockey to partake in. It by no means warrants responses like this:

The Toronto Maple Leafs playing their best hockey of the season in November is peak Leafs.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) November 29, 2021

Now, you can make a strong case for the fact that this will be some of the best …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 ways to improve the Raptors’ league-worst bench scoring

3 ways to improve the Raptors’ league-worst bench scoring

The Toronto Raptors have now lost nine of their last 12 games following a very tough loss against the Boston Celtics, and this losing streak has turned up the scrutiny on the bench. Players like Malachi Flynn, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Yuta Watanabe are part of the worst offensive bench unit in the NBA. This has […]
3 ways to improve the Raptors’ league-worst bench scoring – 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 look into adding outcast Nuggets center Bol Bol

Raptors should look into adding outcast Nuggets center Bol Bol

Despite their insistence on a philosophy of small ball, the Toronto Raptors are being hampered by a lack of size for the second consecutive season. A seven-footer with defensive skills, like Jaxson Hayes or Bol Bol, would be a major boost for this team. Defensively, Toronto leads the league in steals at 9.9 per game. As […]
Raptors should look into adding outcast Nuggets center Bol Bol – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 26

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 26

The Toronto Raptors took their lumps on what became a rough West Coast road trip, but they did manage to get things pointed in the right direction when they took down the Grizzlies in Memphis. Even with that, the latest Raptors odds ate predicting another defeat for Nick Nurse. Toronto will take on Rick Carlisle […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 26 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ