After near perfect Game 1, tough lineup decisions loom for Maple Leafs

Game 1 went about as perfect as anyone could have hoped for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not only did they record a decisive 5-0 victory, but Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner got on the scoresheet after disappointing postseasons a year ago, the home crowd was incredible, and they appear to have gotten out of the game without any injuries.
With as successful a Game 1 as it was, it would be tough to fault Sheldon Keefe for running it back for Game 2. And if the 18 skaters that were dressed for Game 1 were Toronto’s best, I would imagine that’s exactly what we would see.
The only issue is that Michael Bunting was not part of that Game 1 squad and though his status for Game 2 remains up in the air, as soon as he is ready he’ll be back in the lineup. If that comes in time for Wednesday’s Game 2, then some tough decisions are ahead for the Maple Leafs.
So what could/should they change?
How a Michael Bunting return impacts the rest of the lineup
If Bunting is available, you would imagine he’ll slot in on the left wing with Matthews and Marner as he has for essentially the entire second half of the season. Though I wouldn’t hate trying a sec …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Getting Jack Campbell ready for the playoffs was top ‘priority’ for Maple Leafs’, now he has to deliver

When the NHL trade deadline came and went on Mar. 21, the Toronto Maple Leafs elected not to upgrade what was seemingly a fragile situation in goal.
Their incumbent starter, Jack Campbell, was in the midst of a massive slide in his performance. Petr Mrazek, signed to three-year, $11.4 million contract to be his support system, also struggled.
“I promise I’ll get out of it,” Campbell said after a particularly poor performance against the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 5. He allowed five goals on 28 shots, but it was the type of goals he was allowing at the time that made you suspect something was wrong.
Later in the month, Campbell suffered a rib injury and he played through it for a few games before the Maple Leafs shut down the goaltender for nearly a month.
The time away appeared to do the goaltender some good. Campbell went a perfect 7-0-0 in April while posting a .915 save percentage, far bette than the sub .900 numbers he had in the previous three months. It was play more reminiscent of the goaltender who was voted to his first NHL All-Star Game this season after a solid first two months of the season.
“Just play …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win

1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors went into Game 5 of their playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers with their backs against the wall. Not only would Gary Trent Jr, Precious Achiuwa, and the rest of the squad be eliminated from the playoffs with one more loss, but they had to take on Philly without […]
1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for NBA Playoffs Game 2

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for NBA Playoffs Game 2

The Toronto Raptors went from a lock to make some noise in the postseason to a team that is now on the verge of getting swept by a dominant foe in the Philadelphia 76ers. A Game 1 loss featured some scary injuries that will rob Toronto of their depth and make the latest Toronto Raptors […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs 76ers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Could Chris Boucher see minutes cut in awful stretch for Raptors?

Could Chris Boucher see minutes cut in awful stretch for Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors went from one of the worst benches in the league to a team that was continuously getting enough production from their second unit to pull off some upsets. While Chris Boucher was a huge reason why the bench turned around, he’s been struggling mightily in the last few days. Ever since a […]
Could Chris Boucher see minutes cut in awful stretch for Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

How will Raptors handle Armoni Brooks-Malachi Flynn question?

How will Raptors handle Armoni Brooks-Malachi Flynn question?

The Toronto Raptors went from thin to alarmingly thin at guard when Malachi Flynn went down with a hamstring injury. After turning to 10-day signing Armoni Brooks, Toronto has been so pleased with his performance that he’s earned a new multi-year contract after just a handful of games. Brooks has averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, […]
How will Raptors handle Armoni Brooks-Malachi Flynn question? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28

The Toronto Raptors went from a team that appeared to be locked into the play-in tournament to the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference in a matter of weeks. In their most pivotal game of the season to date, the latest Raptors odds have them positioned to come out on top against a contender. […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

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

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

The Toronto Raptors went from dreaming about potentially earning the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference to ending him just a few key wins away from making that dream a reality. The latest Toronto Raptors odds have them positioned as a huge favorite at home. Scottie Barnes will square off against Tyrese Haliburton and […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 26 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Clippers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 16

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Clippers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 16

The Toronto Raptors went from a sputtering mess that couldn’t beat Detroit and Orlando at home to a unified squad that has won four straight games and reignited their push to make the postseason as the No. 6 seed. The latest Raptors odds have them as slight favorites to keep the streak alive. The Los […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Clippers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 16 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors’ struggles should serve as a wake-up call for Masai Ujiri

Raptors’ struggles should serve as a wake-up call for Masai Ujiri

The Toronto Raptors went from one of the most exciting teams in the league and a potential No. 6 seed candidate to a squad that is struggling to beat some of the worst teams in the league. Masai Ujiri traded a first-round pick to push towards the playoffs, but he hasn’t seen the team take […]
Raptors’ struggles should serve as a wake-up call for Masai Ujiri – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ