Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 4: Another series win over the Yanks!

Boy oh boy, does that feel good!

After a difficult week, which featured back-to-back series losses, an injury-riddled Blue Jays squad hosted the New York Yankees and, yet again, came out with two of three wins.
Gerrit Cole was excellent in the opener, the bats woke up in the second game behind an amazing start from Hyun Jin Ryu, and then Bo Bichette powered the team to a win in the third game on Wednesday afternoon with a walk-off bomb. The Blue Jays are now 6-6 for the season, meanwhile, our pals in New York are in the American League East basement with a 5-7 record.
Time to panic in the Big Apple?!?! We welcomed Neil Keefe, a lifelong, diehard Yankees fan and writer, onto the show to talk about what’s going on with the Bombers right now. He went on a tangent about how frustrating the team has been over the past few years, how they haven’t addressed their pitching issues, and why he’s terrified of the Blue Jays moving forward.
All that plus a preview of this weekend’s series in Kansas City on the post-series episode of Blue Jays Nation Radio!
You can listen …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, April 14th: The post-trade deadline era

Apologies for the missed column last week – if you follow me on Twitter you are probably aware that I had a doggy emergency, and sadly hockey drama took a backseat to getting our furbaby healthy again. But here we are! Back in action, post-trade deadline, with all the fun fallout of the weekend plus some more news to touch base on. Let’s dive in.
Leafs-land
Well, Kyle did it. He made some big-ish moves! There were a few names added to the Leafs roster over deadline weekend, but the big ones are obviously Nick Foligno and David Rittich.
Rittich made his debut in blue last night against his former team, and yes, he did fly into Toronto with them. Talk about awkward breakups…

#Leafs goalie David Rittich talks about the emotions of playing against his former team, the weirdness of it all and his new teammates that he calls “a bunch of beauties” https://t.co/BxtRXlxIEw
— David Alter (@dalter) April 14, 2021

Interestingly, David Rittich in fact flew with his ex-teammates on the Calgary Flames plane to Toronto to join his new Maple Leafs teammates.
Lucic says that there were some chirps on the plane & that he appreciated getting …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 3: A Return to Optimism After a Difficult Week for the Blue Jays

What a strange week that was!

After taking two-of-three from the Yankees to kick off the season, the Blue Jays rolled into Texas and we all just assumed they would plow through the Rangers, as the history of that rivalry would suggest. That didn’t happen. After that, the Blue Jays went “home” to host the Angels in Dunedin and dropped the first two games of the series to extend their losing streak to four games. Thankfully, the Blue Jays ended the weekend on a positive note with a 15-run Saturday and a well-timed rain-out on Sunday that saved us from having to watch Tanner Roark pitch to Mike Trout.
We welcomed Brendon Kuhn, everybody’s favourite out-of-the-blue news-breaker, to the podcast to go over the week that was, touching on the lows, such as Bo Bichette’s struggles at short and the team’s ugly strikeout numbers, and reaching for the highs, such as Steven Matz’ hot start and Robbie Ray’s return bumping Tanner Roark to the bullpen.
We finished off by looking ahead at this week’s series against the New York Yankees, which will put two teams who haven’t exactly lived up to expectations thus …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The TLN Trade Bored: Seven Days until the deadline

We are in the home stretch. The final week. Down to the last seven days before all this trade related nonsense disappears until the offseason where it becomes the all consuming topic again. Still that seems like a welcome break. Given that we can now see the finish line it seemed fitting that we once again update The TLN Trade Bored with revised trade rankings based off of what we’ve been hearing and reading for the past few days. Many of the names remain the change, but the prices seem to be more friendly to the Leafs, and but with fewer big names to focus on. There’s also the added intrigue of the Leafs absolutely (but not willing to acknowledge publicly) looking for goaltenders. Fun!

So yeah, Taylor Hall is still the prize above all else, but his teammate Linus Ullmark seems to be emerging as the best goaltending option for the Leafs going forward too.
Kyle Palmieri now sitting out, waiting to find out where he will be traded adds some intrigue to his name, and while there are other teams like the Islanders and Bruins that are pursuing him, the fact that he is the next …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin soon to the Leafs

This week featured a lot of good things from the Toronto Marlies, who needed a few bounces their way. That was, until, they played the Belleville Senators again last night and lost 7-2. However, there’s still a few good events that happened in the past seven days.
After going 0-for-20 against the Belleville Senators last week, Toronto wanted to start this week on a better note. And they did. Adam Brooks got on the board against the Stockton Heat on Monday which was their first power play goal since March 14th against Laval.
It was, too, Brooks’ first goal in nine games which was a boost for both him, and the Marlies.
“I’m sure his confidence, got a boost, but if I’m him, my confidence wouldn’t have been down.” Said Marlies head coach, Greg Moore. “You know, as an athlete, you always want to feel the back of the net. He did a lot of good things. It was one of his better games and again, I know I say this a lot, but it’s always good to see when guys do things right away, work hard and get rewarded for it.”
Brooks is now …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team

Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team

It’s been over a week since the NBA trade deadline, where the Toronto Raptors made some moves during the trade deadline by trading away Norman Powell, Matt Thomas, and Terence Davis. In return, they got Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood, and two future second-round picks. Unfortunately, Aron Baynes remained with the team. Despite that reshuffling, […]
Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Marlies and Me: Jeremy McKenna keeps the streak alive while helping end the Marlies’ drought

Not much happened this past week. The team had a couple practices here and there and one game right in the middle of the week. Then then ended with some more practice. With the results of last week and the last series that these guys played against the Belleville Senators, this time to truly regroup was needed. This week in the land of the Marlies we had some wins that can’t go without being acknowledged. Literal wins as well as things that happened in game and in practice. So let’s get to it!
 
The first practice of the week really set up the team for the success they needed to achieve. According to Coach Greg Moore when asked about how he hoped to set up his practice he responded, “We just focused on doing drills where guys were in tight spaces, playing inside of contact offensively and defensively, getting stronger along the walls.” These were the exact things that were lacking from games prior, so to hear that these specific drills are being done is more than a good thing. After a large bout of negativity things like this can be hard. Coach Moore Acknowledges this as he …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Justin Holl of all people? Yep.

Almost one week later, and the Buds are back. Coming off a lengthy break, the Toronto Maple Leafs made their way to the Canadian Tire Centre to take on the Ottawa Senators. As the puck dropped for the first period, the Leafs had a few good chances but the Senators’ 12th goalie in rotation, Anton Forsberg, kept the door shut. As the Battle of Ontario goes, the Senators ended the first period with a 1-0 lead from a goal by Connor Brown. Then, Ilya Mikheyev managed to tie it up in the second period with a goal that almost didn’t count. The Leafs managed to take their first lead of the game with Jason Spezza’s goal in the third, but the Senators answered right back just a few minutes later with a goal by Alex Formenton. By now you shouldn’t be surprised that such a strange game went to overtime. With 18 seconds left in OT, Justin Holl got the winner past Forsberg and the Leafs took the W.

It feels like a decade since the Leafs last scored a goal how long has it actually been???
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) March 26, 2021

When I say it was a strange game, …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, March 24th: Bad calls and COVID delays galore

Happy Wednesday, hockey friends! Another week of this wacky season, where the divisions are different, games get delayed, and a referee gets fired for doing a thing all refs do (but should not do!) This week the COVID game delay finally hit the Canadian division, and Boston is bearing the brunt over in the East. Also – the Leafs posted pictures of their puppies!
Time to dive in.
Leafs Lads
Who doesn’t love PUPPIES? The Leafs sure do, and they celebrated National Puppy Day by sharing tons of adorable pictures:

It’s #NationalPuppyDay and we’re pawsitive there are some great Leafs pup pics out there
Share yours below pic.twitter.com/bnAy8K5gDo
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 24, 2021

The team missed a few, though. We can’t forget Mo and Zoë:

Or this sweet photo of Mitch’s pup and Auston’s pup hanging out:

There are tons of Leafs pups to love, and yesterday we got to see many of them!
In other fun Leaf news, the team has brought back their Leaf to Leaf series!

The Buds are back for a new season of Leaf To Leaf presented by @Rogers
Tune in on Sunday for our …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: the redemption we need to see from Toronto

With three losses this week the Marlies fall below .500 in the standings. This week was supposed to be the continuation of the redemption that came from a win against the Laval Rocket on March 12. It wasn’t though. That being said there were small positives that came from each individual game.
We also saw the return of Alexander Barabanov, Timothy Lijegren, Nic Petan, and Joseph Woll. Coach Greg Moore sang their praises before their Sunday night game. He said, “They came in game one, performed at a high level when it comes to execution of gameplay and touches with the puck, you just want them to show up, work hard, compete and they did that and got rewarded for it.” These guys are taxi squad material for a reason, constantly working hard and proving that they are ready for any opportunity that comes their way.
The Marlies March 14th game against the Laval Rocket saw them come away with a point. In part, this is due to the resilience and physicality from the baby buds. Apart from that, it seems that there is a rivalry between the two teams that lights a fire under them and pushes this Marlies group …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation