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                                              Projected Lines
                                               
                                                 Forwards


        Toronto                                          Colorado


Johnsson - Matthews - Nylander
                   Burakovsky-MacKinnon- Donskoi
Mikheyev - Tavares - Hyman                         Nichushkin - Kadri - Compher
Kerfoot - Spezza - Kapanen                           Nieto- Bellemare - TBD
Engvall - Shore - Gauthier                             O’Connor - Kamenev - Tynan

                                               Defence
 
Rielly- Ceci                                                   Girard - Johnson       
Muzzin - Holl                                                Graves - Makar                                       
Dermott - Barrie                                           Zadorov- Cole


                                           Goaltenders


Frederik Andersen                                         Philip Grubauer
Kasimir Kaskisuo                                           Pavel Francouz


                                          Scratches


Petan                                                           
Marincin



                                          Injuries


Marner RW - ankle                                       Rantanen RW -leg
Trevor Moore LW -shoulder
                                                                  Landeskog C - lower body   
                                                                  Colin Wilson C - lower body     
                                                                  Tyson Jost C - upper body
                                                                  Matt Calvert RW - head




                                            News & Notes


                                               Maple Leafs


- Frederik Anderson to start in goal for the Leafs tonight.  In 18 games started, Andersen has a .915 SV% and a 2.66 GAA plus a 10-5-0 w/l record.
- After losing six straight games and having fired coach Mike Babcock, the Leafs finally broke out of their slump with a 3-1 win Thursday night in Arizona against the Coyotes
- It was a game of “firsts” — new coach Sheldon Keefe’s first win in his debut behind the bench; much-beleagured defenceman Tyson Barrie scoring his first goal in a Leaf Jersey (a huge sigh of relief for the Leafs defenceman who seemed not to thrive under Babcock but played to his strengths and skill set under Keefe.  It was also a big load off his shoulders coming into tonight’s game against his former team the Colorado Avalanche, where he spent his entire career before being traded to the Leafs); Pierre Engvall scored his first goal in his NHL debut with the blue & white being called up from the Marlies.  The gangly left winger certainly impressed.


- Auston Matthews leads all Leafs forwards with 15 goals & 28 points

- Morgan Rielly leads all Leafs defencement with 3 goals & 14 assists (17points)
- The Leafs top five are — C Matthews, RW Nylander, RW Marner, D Rielly, C Tavares
LW Mikheyev is tied with Nylander in assists (14)


- Coach Sheldon Keefe announced that C Nick Shore would replace Nic Petan on the team’s fourth line.  Shore is a protege of Keefe’s Marlies and deserves a chance to play.  He’s also a native of Denver and will be playing before a ‘home’ crowd.  Keefe coached the 2018 Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup win and had been instilled as coach since 2015.  He is familiar with many of the players now on the Leafs roster.  Sounds all good.




                                         Colorado Avalanche



- Philip Grubauer will start in goal for the Avalanche tonight.  In 13 games started, Grubauer has a .916 SV% and a 2.76 GAA plus a 7-4-0 w/l record.
- Colorado has just finished up a five-game road swing going 3 and 2 during that span.  The Avalanche have accomplished some pretty amazing things this season without at least four, (now five if you count Matt Calvert’s puck-in-the-head injury), regulars out of their lineup — Miko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Colin Wilson, and Tyson Jost.  Colorado has managed to find depth players as temporary replacements until the injured return, which may not be too far off, as Rantanen & Josi were seen participating in the team’s morning skate.


- The Avs moto this season is “Next Man Up”, a motivating slogan that has served the team quite well considering all that they’ve gone through.
- What is even more amazing is that at one given time, the Avalanche had seven regulars out of the lineup — including starting goaltender Grubauer and his backup Francouz.  On their five-game road swing, they used four goaltenders in the rotation —callups Antoine Bibeau & Adam Werner, then Francouz (he was temporarily injured but ready for the next assignment),  and of course Grubauer who returned for the last road game a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.


- Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in goals (13) and points (32)
- Defenceman Cale Makar has been on a tear this month.  The brilliant offensive defenceman leads all NHL rookies with 25 points in 22 games.  The more he plays, the better and better he gets.  The pride of Alberta is a definite shoo-in at this point for rookie of the year honours.  That of course has yet to be determined, but with the way Makar is playing, he and McKinnon are leading the team at this stage in the season.
- Tonight’s game will not only feature ex-Avalanche now Maple Leaf Tyson Barrie facing his former team, but also the Avs C Nazem Kadri and ex Maple Leaf,  Kadri came to Colorado via the Barrie trade and has settled in his role as the team’s second-line centre.  Kadri has 7 goals and 8 assists for 15 points.


                                            **********

-The Leafs are fourth in the Atlantic division while the Avalanche are second in their Central division.
- Colorado sports the third best GA at 5v5 in the league.  They make it difficult for teams to score at even strength.
- The Leafs/Avs tilt should make for an exciting speedy game as both teams will play to the max in the offensive department while minding the defence.  It’ll be interesting to see how the Leafs contain Colorado’s speedy forwards in Burakovsky, MacKinnon, and Makar.  It’ll be equally interesting to see how the Avalanche contain the Leafs duo of Matthews & Nylander, not to mention a plethora of the rest of the Leafs forward lines.  Oh yeah, Kadri vs Barrie & Kerfoot....

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Remembrance Day 2019
« on: November 11, 2019, 07:28:54 AM »








Today marks the 75th Anniversary of what became known as “The Italian Campaign”.  For us Italio-Canadians it is a day of reflection and for the Italian community in Toronto & across the country, it is also a day of extreme gratitude.

As WWII came to an end, church bells tolled signaling the event.  A country liberated from the chains of brutality, owing much to another country, still foreign, but strong and determined.  That country was our dear and beloved Canada...

....to this day, the sacrifices of those who not only brought freedom and democracy to (Western) Europe, but defended our own as well.   Never to be forgotten.  Always remembered.

Thank you.  Grazie. 

And to all of the brave Canadian Men and Women who continue to serve, may your inner strength shine and your fortitude in duty be ever resilient.

Canada thanks you.

As one born in Toronto of Italian descent, I heard and have been told countless stories of war by both my parents as well as relatives. Some harrowing, some inspiring, and some just downright strange.  Yes, even the enemy did show a trace of humanity.  Like the time when my maternal grandmother (who died the year before I was born) faced two German soldiers.  A pregnant woman whose children were hiding under the table in fear, who bravely walked outside her door, pleading and begging the two Germans to please let the captured people go.  The soldiers who spoke in halting Italian, were utterly puzzled at seeing this woman come toward them, speaking “Nein, signora, nein!”  Neither of the two attempted to shoot, thank God for that.  Of course, the church bells soon tolled and the war was over!  Grown men and women cried tears of sheer relief.

On and on the tales go.....

Not just in Sicily, (I am not Sicilian), but all over Italy.  The fascist Mussolini also defeated and done away with by his own people (you know what that means). 
Yes, Mussolini started Cinecittà, the Italian movie industry, but perhaps that’s all the credit this clown gets.  Many older Italians had to endure life under fascist rule.  Not easy to do, but what other choice was there?

The Italians have honoured the Canadian sacrifice in Ortona (Sicily) and Italy acknowledges Canada’s role in the war...

...just like we all know Canada’s participation in both WWs was a coming of age that showcased Canada’s prime importance in a worldwide event, as tragic as war was, triumph reigned with dramatic results, still felt to this day.


https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/historical-sheets/pish

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Aroooooooo! Halloween 2019
« on: October 31, 2019, 08:20:48 AM »
TRICK OR TREAT!!




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Non-Hockey Chatter / Thanksgiving Day 2019
« on: October 13, 2019, 11:31:43 PM »
To all at TMLfans....





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TMLfans.ca Events / 2019-2020 Pick’em Standings Thread
« on: October 06, 2019, 07:02:13 PM »
Leaderboard tallies after Round 1:


Hobbes               15
hockeyfan1         13
WAYNEINIONA     6
Highlander           6

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O-kayyyy!!

The TMLfans Pick’em Challenge returns for yet another season! 

Are you ready for some fun & games?!  I sure am.

Last year’s overall leaderboard winner was WAYNEINIONA.  Think he can repeat?  Hmm.  Remains to be seen.  Anyone up for the Challenge? 

Oops. Almost forgot.  Should anyone who wishes to participate be unfamiliar with the rules, they are here:

http://www.tmlfans.ca/community/index.php?topic=4680.0

SAMPLE ONLY
This game is pretty basic and easy to understand, you get a list of 6 games that are happening on the weekend (Sat-Sun, Fri games are thrown in sometimes too). You then select which teams you think will win and assign a point value to each team, 6 points to the team you are most confident will win, 5 points to the next team you are more confident and so on, you can only use each point value once (6,5,4,3,2,1).

Here is an example:

Leafs 6       -     Sept 24th - Leafs @ Sabres              19:00 EST
Sens 1        -     Sept 24th - Sens @ Habs                19:00 EST
Panthers 4  -     Sept 24th - Lightning @ Panthers     19:30 EST
Oilers 5      -     Sept 24th - Flames @ Oilers             20:00 EST
Jets 3        -     Sept 24th - Jets @ Predators            20:30 EST
Ducks 2     -     Sept 24th - Ducks @ Canucks          22:00 EST
Picks are due before the earliest game starts, so in this example you have to pick before the Leafs/Sabres and Sens/Habs game. No changing of picks once the earliest game has started. Any poster submitting their picks after the earliest game starts, won't have their picks tallied for that week and any poster modifying their submission after the earliest game starts, will have all their picks for that week not count.

Please note:  Most of the games will be posted by each winner for mostly Saturday games (for tradition’s sake).  However, let’s say should the Maple Leafs be playing the next day, it’s fine to post for both days.


                                                 - - - - - - - - - - -


Here are the games.  Deadline is 7pm Saturday.  All times Eastern.
Good luck everyone.


Sat. October 5th

Montréal @ Toronto             7pm
New Jersey @ Buffalo          7pm
Tampa Bay @ Florida           7pm
Dallas @ St.Louis                8pm
Los Angeles @ Edmonton    10pm
Vancouver @ Calgary          10pm

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TMLfans.ca Events / 2019-2020 TMLfans Pick’em Challenge...........
« on: September 30, 2019, 05:23:09 AM »

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It’s basketball time.  Training camp opened on Friday September 27th in Quebec City, and the pre-season games which will begin on Tuesday Oct. 8th against the Houston Rockets in China.

Many ask, where will the 2019 NBA Champions go from here, sans Kawhi Leonard?

First of all, if one had asked if the Raptors were championship material at the beginning of last season, no one could have predicted that that is exactly what transpired.
This year, no one believes the Raptors have what it takes to go all the way Kawhi-less.  Except Masai Ujiri.

This team will be Masai’s team, or whatever he makes it depending on where th roster takes it.

Since the Leonard & Green departures in the off-season, there have been new additions added to the Toronto roster.  Forwards Rondee Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson, Cameron Payne, Guards Isiah Taylor, Matt Thomas, Devinn Robinson, and draftees Guard Terence Davis, Forwards Sagata Konate, Dewan Hernandez, & Oshae Brissett.
Plus the usual array of returnees and veterans such as Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, Fred Van Vleet, Patrick McCaw, Malcom Miller, Chris Boucher, OG Anunoby, &  Pascal Siakam,

Lowry, Ibaka, and Gasol are on expiring contracts through next season,  Just the three of them take up $90M on the books.  They are the most experienced but also aging veterans and it’s anyone’s guess on what Toronto’s brass has in mind in tinkering with the roster come deadline day, if at all.

Many believe this will be Siakam’s team and time to take the reigns as the new on-court leader.  The NBA’s MIP Award winner will surely be seeking to lead all forwards and taking charge on the court, much as he had done last season.

While the Raptors look good on paper, in reality on-court they remain a slight question mark.  Even though the Eastern Conference has ‘beefed’ itself up — Kyrie Irving and KD in Brooklyn;  Kemba Walker in Boston; James Horford in Philly; not excluding a revamped Giannis Antetokounmpo & the  Milwaukee Bucks (who are said to be itching for a playoff rematch with Toronto in a bid to avenge last year’s loss) — that is not to say that the Raptors don’t possess the versatility as well as the depth that they displayed and was displayed by Leonard leading up to their incredulous playoff run and championship win.

Guys like Hollis-Jefferson will provide defensive playmaking, Matt Thomas (most accurate non-NBA shooting guard), veteran know-how in Gasol, Lowry, & Ibaka,  speed in Anunoby & Boucher, all-round playmaking in Siakam, bench strength from returnees McCaw, Miller, Powell.

In summarization, the Raptors appear to be a defensive-oriented team not big on offensive numbers if analytics is to be believed. 

This was my response to Blake Murphy’s article on what we can expect this season, namely a “transition” or look-see year with expectations to make the playoffs and hopefully go far (and in Ujiri’s mind, win it all again):


From LD:

Wow, Blake, stats, stats, stats! Great article and quite predictive of a Raptors roster outcome.

Personally, I doubt the Raptors win “2-peat”. Without A Kawhi type, it won’t be the same. Sure they have speed (Siakam, Anunoby, Boucher), leadership & experience (Lowry, Ibaka, Van Vleet, Gasol), versatility (Hollis-Jefferson —defence, Matt Thomas — shooting), and bench strength (McCaw, Powell, etc), but somehow looking at this team’s roster, can one actually say the Raptors look balanced?

I’d expect them to play a tighter defensive game this season given their potential offensive shortcomings given the fact that the team is a mixed bag of players.

At this point, let PIPM do the talking. On paper, not too bad. On court, same.
Results? In the hunt and jostling for playoff position. At best.


Blake Murphy
@Lora D. Yeah, their chances of a repeat look fairly slim, barring some major steps forward from guys (or an unlikely trade). Think you're spot on that they'll be a D-first team. Should be an identity there.

(PIPM is an analytics tool that takes a player’s +-% etc., and rolls it into a probability of that player’s value performance and expectations).

Anyway, furthering to the above, many fans think this Raptors 2020 edition has what it takes to make an indentation in the playoffs again.  Not to worry much regarding the Nets (Kyrie & KD both on long-term injuries/Durant indefinitely).  Teams such as the Sixers with a “rejuvenated” Joel Embiid will prove tough, as tough as they were last season.

It’s really anyone’s guess who’ll win the championship next year, whether it’ll be the Leonard-led Clippers, the Giannis-led Bucks, or surprise again the Siakam-led Raptors. 

Versatility will be the key, and Toronto appears to have it on paper at least.  Kawhi displayed it in spades, and while coach Nick Nurse had ingrained the idea of using strategy to bring out versatility in all areas, more-of the same will be expected particularly from the core.

The entire NBA has got the versatility buzzword, that is players who can play well at both ends of the court, shifting & transitioning, passing and agility to recognize in-play opportunities.  Toronto, already having experienced that, will want to do more of the same for continued success in the East.

Let the season begin!

GO RAPTORS GO!

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All Sports But Hockey / 2019-2020 NFL Thread
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:41:57 AM »
The  new season began this past weekend as the NFL celebrates it’s 100th year.

Defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots opened Sunday at home vs Ben Rothlisberger & the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Pats QB Tom Brady started where he left off as his Patriots crushed Pittsburgh 33-3.

Will Brady & his Patriots win yet another record-breaking  Super Bowl?  Or, will this be the season that KC Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes leads his team to SB glory?

Many believe the Cleveland Browns are poised for a breakout year, and that QB Aaron Rodgers  and his Green Bay Packers are due for a better playoff run.  How about Drew Bree’s and the Saints?  Last year’s SB finalists the L.A. Rams?

Anything can happen, such as QB Nick Foles whose early season came tumbling down as he suffered a broken clavicle in his debut on Saturday, while his Jacksonville Jaguars suffered  a 40-26  loss to Mahomes’ Chiefs.  Talk about bad luck.  Ugh-ly!

NFL preview:
https://www.sportinglife.com/nfl/news/nfl-season-preview-hail-to-the-chiefs/171152

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Goodbye Rhoda: Valerie Harper 1939-2019
« on: August 31, 2019, 09:27:29 AM »
Those of you familiar with '70's television will be familiar with the name of Valerie Harper in the role of Rhoda Morgenstern.

The character first appesred on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" opposite Mary Tyler Moore herself.  Later, Harper was given her very own sitcom "Rhoda".

These two shows, as many know,  were at the forefront of the Women's liberation movement, perhaps more so Rhoda.

Harper, after Rhoda, also starred in several different sitcoms as well as theatre.

She is the epitome of tenacity, courage, and bravery moreso for her offscreen battle with various cancers, beginning with her surviving lung cancer in 2009.  Unfortunately,  it was the diagnosis of an "incurable" brain cancer (of the meninges) several years later that would pay testimony to the above description -- Harper defiantly lived for the next seven years much to the surprise of the medical community -- until her death yesterday.

To actually even go through something like that is incredible, and  enough to deflate one's spirit in the face of such struggles.

Just like her character Rhoda...always searching but never truly finding, yet never saying never...until the end.

Fans will always remember Valerie Harper for the kind-hearted & sensible person she remained throughout her life, and to others.

Rest In Peace. 


https://ca.news.yahoo.com/entertainment/valerie-harper-the-mary-tyler-dead-at-80-231058835.html

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Alright everyone.  Thought I'd come up with another topic thread and think this one will be different from the usual videos/YouTube stuff & trends.

Feel free to post an article or story that contains a link with an accompanying video that showcases the topic at hand.


I'll begin...

Now for something completely different, or shall we say, a completely different swimming pool.  Sure, sure, typical pool, eh?
Not quite.  Guess again...and this is no ordinary pool:

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/new-vancouver-swimming-pool-not-for-the-faint-of-heart-1.4552284


Ever wonder just what the top coasters (rollercoasters) are with the highest peaks amd scariest drops?

Hint:  One is in Canada.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/travel/2019/08/06/roller-coaster-drops-travl-orig.cnn

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Non-Hockey Chatter / “Happy Canada Day!” 2019
« on: July 01, 2019, 04:49:40 AM »
Hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend...





...”Happy Canada Day”, TMLfans!




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All Sports But Hockey / 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:31:36 AM »
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup comes to France.  It will run from June 7 to July 7.

The previous WWC was hosted by Canada in 2015 and set an attendance record. 

Who are the favourites?  Team USA is naturally deemed the favourite as they are ranked at top spot in the world rankings column. 
Team Canada, led by all-time player Christine Sinclair, is ranked fifth.

Click here to view world women’s rankings:
https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/


Speaking of Canada’s Sinclair, she is well within reach of an all-time international soccer record — her 181 goals are four shy of Amy Wambaugh (American).
Canada’s soccer superwoman is determined to lead her country to the Women’s World Cup trophy.  Sinclair led Canada to an Olympic Bronze medals (2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games).

Still can’t forget that very controversial call against Team Canada at the 2022 London Summer Olympic Games in Semi-Final versus Team USA.  That still hurts but at least Canada’s ladies got their dues worth in 2016.

GO CANADA GO!

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Non-Hockey Chatter / “Happy Easter!”
« on: April 21, 2019, 04:48:00 AM »

Easter blessings to all at TMLfans!



(Click on image to enlarge)

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Whoa, what a ride for 18 yr. old Canada's phenom Bianca Andreescu!

Sunday at Indian Wells in the BNP Paribas Open, Andreescu emerged victorious defeating eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, enroute to making Canadian tennis history.

The  wildcard Andreescu becomes among the youngest winner at Indian Wells not seen since the U.S.' Serena Williams accomplished the feat twenty years prior. (Williams was all of 17).

It wasn't an easy victory for Andreesecu, considering the fact that all the hard work she put in to get to this point in the tournament, left her a little banged up and fatigued to boot.  But the Romanian-Canadian phenom did not disappoint, as she moved up in the rankings from 152 to...24th.  Yes, that fast.

With a nod to her country and supporters in Canada, plus acknowledging her many Romanian fans -- Andreescu is of Romanian descent -- with grace, poise, and that oh so Canadianness of traits that left many in the tennis world applauding her at every turn.

Foarțe bine, Bianca!


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/17/sports/tennis/indian-wells.html


https://www.sportingnews.com/ca/tennis/news/indian-wells-open-2019-bianca-andreescu-defeats-angelique-kerber-in-three-set-thriller-to-claim-title/f0bmw9ypbjh61momi1jukx8ms

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