The Blue Jays use the long ball to defeat the Tigers 9-3 in the home opener

There’s not many atmospheres like a home opener, especially when said home has had some renovations done through the previous offseason.
The Blue Jays hit five home runs which backed a shaky start from Alek Manoah, as they defeated Detroit 9-3 in front of a sold out crowd on Tuesday night. It’s almost beating the same drum over and over now, but it was the first game with the new additions to the Rogers Center, and fans at the game or at home watching on TV had the chance to check it out. Let’s dive into who made this exciting night possible.
Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: Kevin Kiermaier
Of all Blue Jays players – returning or new – who were excited to play at Rogers Center this year, Kevin Kiermaier’s exhilaration was visibly unmatched. During an interview with Hazel Mae before the game, Kiermaier went as far as to say that he loves the Canadian National Anthem so much that he might even consider performing it one day. Well, all of that culminated to a storybook-like play to lead off the second inning, as he robbed Kerry Carpenter of a home run with a sensational leaping catch at the center field wall. It was the literal …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Oilers dummy the new look Leafs 5-2: Game highlights

There’s not much good to say about Wednesday’s game. The Oilers led the game from start to finish. Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things. Below are the highlights from the game.
McDavid opened the scoring as Jake McCabe sat for slashing. He worked a give and go with Leon Draisaitl and scored his ninth goal in his last four plus games…

McDavid capitalizes early on the power play to put the Oilers up by one!🔥
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Leafs evened it up later in the first. Cody Ceci turned it over on the wall and Mitch Marner found David Kampf to make it 1-1…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 2, 2023

McDavid did it again a few minutes later. Another highlight reel goal. Five straight multi-goal games for 97. 2-1 Oilers…

That’s five consecutive two goal games for Connor McDavid! 🙌
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

Zach Hyman cleaned up his own rebound to make it 3-1. Three point period for McDavid. First point as an Oiler for Mattias Ekholm…

Hyman goes to work against his former squad! 👷‍♂️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Oilers dominance continued in the second period. Ilya Samsonov made a huge stop on Hyman in tight to keep the Leafs within two…

another strong pad save from Samsonov
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The two goal lead didn’t last long. Kailer Yamamoto tipped in the Ceci point shot to make it 4-1…

Kailer Yamamoto re-directs it
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The Oilers extended their lead again before the end of the second. Ryan McLeod walked TJ Brodie on the 2-1 and fed Klim Kostin. 5-1…

this game is a runaway. klim kostin extends the oilers’ lead to 5-1.
— zach (@zjlaing) March 2, 2023

Mitch Marner got the comeback started with a powerplay goal early in the third. He took the Morgan Rielly pass and wired a wrister past Stuart Skinner to cut the lead to three…

Marns gets us one back!
— Toronto Mapl …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 120: Three BOLD off-season predictions, thoughts on MLB’s playoff format, and more!

Though the playoff run ended very quicky, there’s plenty to talk about in Blue Jays land.

We took a look back at Toronto’s two-game sweep to Seattle in the wild-card series with a different perspective now that the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers and 101-win Atlanta Braves also got dropped in five-game sets. Does it matter that the higher-seeded teams are losing if it adds more drama and excitement?
After that, we talked about off-season stuff, including whether Shohei Ohtani wants out of Anaheim, which Blue Jays could ink long-term contracts this winter, who the most realistic trade partners would be, and the arbitration projections MLBTR made for 13 players.
We also made three bold predictions for the off-season that we’ll be sticking to no matter what!
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

As free agency dwindles, try-outs come to the forefront: some good PTO fits for the Leafs

There’s a certain point each August where the well of news and excitement in the NHL offseason almost completely dries up. We are at that point. The well begins to refill as prospect camps and full team training camps approach, but we’re not quite there yet. We’re in this weird, quiet dead of the summer for hockey. Some resort to watching baseball or spending time outside with loved ones, but me, I choose to look at what remaining free agents could be good choices to bring to Leafs training camp on a Professional Try-Out (PTO) agreement.
It’s quite common for the Leafs to bring in PTO players. Last year, they brought notable forward Joshua Ho-Sang in on an AHL contract and a PTO for the NHL training camp, however he ended up remaining just with the Marlies without an NHL deal. They also brought in another small playmaking forward in Nikita Gusev, both of whom did sign with the Leafs or anywhere else. With their skill levels, if some chemistry or a really good fit developed in training camp, then a contract could easily have materialized for either of them. Over the last 3 years, over 40% of players who signed PTOs went on to …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation