The Toronto Chapter of the BBWAA have announced their annual award winners highlighted by the selection of OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who earned both the Neil MacCarl Award as player of the year and the Most Improved Player Award. Also recognized were RHP Ken Giles, who earned the Pitcher of the Year, SS Bo Bichette as the Rookie of the Year, and 1B Justin Smoak as the John Cerutti Award recipient for displaying goodwill, cooperation and character.
Bichette, 21, began his Major League career with an 11-game hitting streak, the longest in team history to start a career and the third longest in MLB history by a player 21 years old or younger. During that stretch, he also became the first player ever to hit a double in nine consecutive games. The shortstop went on to record 15 extra-base hits in his first 15 career games, which were the most by any player in MLB history. Bichette recorded 39 hits in the month of August, the most all-time by a Toronto rookie in any month. He finished the season with 61 hits and 11 home runs in 46 games played, both the most by any Blue Jays batter to begin a career.
Giles, 29, ranked first among American League relievers in strikeout rate (39.9%), third in ERA (1.87) and tied for eighth in saves (23) last season. The 6-3, 210 lb. right-hander led the Majors with a 95.8 save percentage, and finished the season with a 2-3 record, a 1.00 WHIP, 17 walks and 83 strikeouts. His 98.0 save percentage over the last two seasons (49-for-50) is tied with Canadian Eric Gagne (2003-2004) for the highest over any two-year span since saves became official in 1969.
Gurriel Jr., 26, slashed .277/.327/.541 in his 84 games for the Blue Jays in 2019 while reaching the 20-home run mark for the first time in his career. The 6-3, 215 lb. right-handed hitter also spent time with Triple-A Buffalo and twice landed on the injured list. Over the course of the campaign, he led all Major League left fielders with nine assists – doing so in just 63 games – and became the first player in MLB history to lead his team in home runs at the All-Star break (16) after hitting zero homers in the club’s first 50 contests.
Smoak, 32, hit 22 home runs and drove in 61 runs in 121 games last season. The 6-4, 220 lb. switch-hitter drew a team-leading 79 walks, which ranked 8th among American League batters, and was nominated for a Gold Glove Award after posting a .995 fielding percentage. In five seasons with the Blue Jays, Smoak has recorded 117 home runs, 321 RBI, and 304 walks, leading to a .796 OPS and an All-Star appearance in 2017. His 117 homers are the second most by a switch-hitter in team history, trailing only Jose Cruz Jr. (122). Over the course of his 10-year Major League career, the first baseman has combined for 191 home runs and 555 RBI in 1,250 games.
SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪ TV: SPORTSNET ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN
MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus COLORADO
32-39-9-3 (83 Games)
ALL-TIME ON THE ROAD:
18-21-4-1 (44 Games)
MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus COLORADO
Jason Spezza (32), Jake Muzzin (22), John Tavares (17)
Jason Spezza (6), Kasperi Kapanen (4), Auston Matthews (4)
Jason Spezza (11), Jake Muzzin (7), John Tavares (6)
Jason Spezza (17), Auston Matthews (9), John Tavares (9), Jake Muzzin (9)
Jake Muzzin (12), Martin Marincin (8), Three players tied (6)
MAPLE LEAFS – AVALANCHE TEAM STATS
GOALS FOR (Rank):
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):
16/83 [19.3%] (t-13th)
20/103 [19.4%] (12th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):
69/91 [75.8%] (26th)
69/88 [78.4%] (20th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):
FACEOFF % (Rank):
MAPLE LEAFS – AVALANCHE NOTES
FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS:
Nov. 18, 1979 at Quebec (Quebec 4, Toronto 2)
32-39-9-3 (83 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME:
18-21-4-1 (44 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD:
14-18-5-2 (39 Games)
LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT AT HOME:
Nov. 17, 2015 (Toronto 5, Colorado 1)
MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. AVALANCHE
First Maple Leaf shutout (Dec. 22, 2016 at COL)
Selected by Colorado in the third round (64th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. Franchise leader among defencemen in points (307), assists (232) and goals (75).
300th NHL game (Nov. 11, 2017 (OTT) vs. COL)
First NHL goal (Dec. 22, 2016 at COL)
100th NHL game (Jan. 14, 2019 vs. COL)
Played 157 games with Colorado (2017-19)
First NHL game (Dec. 5, 2013 (EDM) vs. COL) First NHL goal (March 25, 2014 (EDM) vs. COL)
100th game as a Maple Leaf (Nov. 23, 2019 at COL)
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
POWER PLAY POINTS
18 (Kerfoot, Muzzin, Rielly)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %
TOI PER GAME
PP TOI PER GAME
SH TOI PER GAME
MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES
– Is 7-3-3 at home this season with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. – Has an 4-3-0 record with a .928 save percentage and a 2.30 goals-against average in seven career games against Colorado.- Tied for third in the NHL in wins (13).- Third in the NHL in saves (630) and third in even-strength saves (516).
– Seventh among NHL defencemen in shots on goal (78). – Skated in 484 games for the Avalanche from 2011-19 and is the franchise leader among defencemen in points (307), assists (232) andgoals (75).
– Sixth among NHL skaters in shorthanded time on ice (94:58).- Has started 188 shifts in the defensive zone, which is the fifth-most defensive zone starts among all NHL skaters.
– Has won 57.0 percent (85 won, 64 lost) of his defensive zone faceoffs.
– Has an unblocked shot attempt percentage of 54.9 percent at 5-on-5, which leads all Maple Leafs defencemen.
– Ranks ninth among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in fewer than 10 games in saves (197).
– Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 53.9 percent, which ranks ninth among Toronto skaters who have played 10 games. – Averaging 17:40 per game in ice time through nine games since returning from injury, which ranks fifth among Toronto forwards.
– Has four goals in three career games against the Avalanche.
– Had 85 points (34 goals, 51 assists) over 157 games with Colorado from 2017-19 after signing a two-year entry-level contract on August 23, 2017.
– Eighth among NHL skaters in goals (16).- Tied for fourth among NHL skaters in even-strength goals (12).- Tied for 13th among NHL skaters in points (16-15-31).- One of 12 NHL skaters with at least 100 shots on goal to this point of the season, ranking fifth overall in the League with 107 shots.- Has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in seven career games against the Avalanche.
– Second among NHL skaters in shorthanded shots on goal (10).- Tied for the lead among NHL rookies in shots on goal (69).- Leads NHL rookies and is tied for second on the Maple Leafs in even-strength points (4-13-17).
– Tied for 12th among NHL defencemen in even-strength assists (9).- One of eight NHL defencemen and 21 NHL skaters to have registered at least 55 hits (61) and at least 50 shots on goal (58).
– Has notched seven primary assists, which is tied for fourth among Toronto skaters. – Has registered at least one point in 18 of Toronto’s 29 games. – Has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in four games against Central Division opponents.
– Tied for 11th among NHL defencemen in points (3-17-20).- Tied for seventh among NHL defencemen in even-strength points (3-12-15).- Tied for fourth among NHL defencemen in even-strength assists (12).- 11th among NHL skaters in TOI per game (24:46).- Tied for seventh among NHL skaters in shifts per game (28.8).- Has four assists in four games against Central Division teams.
– Averaging 3.2 points per 60 minutes of ice time this season, which ranks second among Toronto skaters.
– Tied for sixth in points in the NHL over the last seven days (4-2-6; 4 GP).- Averaging 20:01 per game in ice time against Central Division opposition.- Leads the Maple Leafs in faceoff wins (202). He is one of 36 NHLers to have won at least 200 faceoffs in 2019-20.- Leads the Maple Leafs in power play faceoffs won (53.2% – 42 won, 37 lost).
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Three wins from 200 career NHL wins.
One game from 500 career NHL games.
400th NHL assist (November 30 vs Buffalo)
Mitch Marner (Ankle)
On injured reserve.
Trevor Moore (Shoulder)
On injured reserve.
Man Games Lost: 61
Recalled defenceman Martin Marincin from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Loaned defenceman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
15-5) MIAMI HEAT, 121 VS. (15-5) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 (OT) SCOTIABANK ARENA TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2019
TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES
NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)
On not stringing together a bunch of defensive stops in a row… First of all, I thought they played with great energy. I thought they were really flying around at both ends, much, much more than we were. So that was kind of the first thing and then I thought they made really great reads. There is a bunch of pieces to that, they hit the right guy and that right guy made a lot of shots as well, or they took it to the basket and made some good finishes on them. They had some stretches there, like (Justise) Winslow I thought had a good stretch that was really keeping them taking over, and like you said, we couldn’t really string up the consecutive stops.
On Kyle Lowry… It was a tricky one for me tonight. We tried to bring him back, and then he is kind of part of the come back there at the end. Then he made some plays and he was trying everything that he could and he made some good plays. Then you get to overtime, you kind of roll with what you have. Obviously that is not a very good shooting night for him or for Fred (VanVleet), and I would think that if those guys are seven-for-34 we are probably in trouble. Too good of shooters for those kind of numbers.
On Bam Adebayo’s defence on Pascal Siakam… Give Bam some credit, he did a good job. I thought he was physical with him, I thought he moved his feet and kept him in front. Pascal couldn’t get around him, couldn’t get over the top of him very well either, and I thought as well as a team defence, there was a few times I looked when Pascal was in the paint and he had four guys on him. He made a couple of good reads – a kick out to Marc (Gasol) here and there – and he made some shots. They sent a lot of attention to him, but it started with Bam.
On the defence on Jimmy Butler… We were trying to kind of get in and out of stuff with Butler and they probably made us get out of it more than we’d hoped because again, Bam on the offensive end. They were firing it to him and he was throwing fastballs out to the shooters and they were making them. It was tough on us, because again, like I said they were making really good reads. We were maybe a half step slow as well, and we didn’t quite get out to the shooters. It is a couple pass scenario, that we have to protect the rim and then be able to get out to the shooters. Again, we just didn’t have the greatest energy I didn’t think, especially in the first half. I thought they were trying pretty hard in the second half and it was just one of those games where it wasn’t quite bouncing our way.
PASCAL SIAKAM (15 points, 12 rebounds)
What was different tonight on the defensive end of the floor? I don’t know. I think a lot of miscommunications and they shot a lot of open threes and they made them. We weren’t as crisp defensively as we usually are. So, move on.
How much of it are new lineups with guys coming back? I don’t know how that that has an effect. I just know we really shot our rotations and things that we did, extra efforts, we didn’t have.
NORMAN POWELL (23 points, eight rebounds) On Miami and what you saw tonight… They are a high energy team, lead by Jimmy Butler. They’ve got a lot of shooters around him, they play fast, and they play hard offensively and defensively. They are able to get out on transition and create a lot of three-point looks for their shooters.
Is there a transition period when guys return from injury? I think so. When guys go out you have guys step up, guys get more minutes and guys get more opportunity. We were able to find a rhythm with the rotations that were going on when Serge (Ibaka) and Kyle (Lowry) were out. Now that they are back, it’s a little readjustment and for them guys to get adjusted and to the way we were playing and just get their fill and rhythm back to the game of basketball. It’s good, it’s early in the season, so hopefully those guys are able to get adjusted quickly and we will be able to get back into that flow that we had early on with all of us.
KYLE LOWRY (12 points, 11 assists)
When did you decide to play? Right before the game. I shot at like 4:30 and felt okay, felt good. We don’t have many practices, we don’t have time to go out there, so why not go test it against a hard-playing team, and it responded pretty well and it was cool.
On 2-18 shooting … That was terrible. That’s rhythm, I missed shots. I mean honestly I didn’t force anything, I don’t think. I think everything I shot came within the offence and honestly a lot of those threes went in and out. Layups, it’s just rhythm and a little bit of timing, I haven’t really done a basketball-type playing since New Orleans, so that takes a game, but I’m sure I’ll be better next game and there is nothing to be concerned or worried about.
On Miami being a physical team to play … Of course, they are a very physical team and they are a very tough team, well coached and the organization is built a certain way and they came out and showed some grit tonight. We still had a chance to win the game and you can’t get mad at that
(15-5) MIAMI HEAT, 121 VS. (15-5) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 (OT) SCOTIABANK ARENA TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2019
MIAMI HEAT QUOTES
ERIK SPOELSTRA (HEAD COACH)
On how you feel the way your team finished the game … It showed a great deal of mental toughness, obviously, from the guys in there. It reminded me a little bit of that Milwaukee game, we were up, once we got up eight we just have to execute, get some stops and see if we can come out of there in regulation with a win. We weren’t able to do it, you have credit them. They got to the free throw line and jammed us up on a couple of possessions. And then just to put that all behind us and focus on the overtime, and then we really defended during that stretch. Obviously, Jimmy (Butler) was pretty darn good. At that point, he didn’t have a ton of energy he had already played 40 minutes but it was like, all right, I’m just going to make sure we seal this and that this doesn’t get to a second overtime or even worse, a loss.
When Jimmy is so impactful on the game, how much does it make it easier for the other guys? Where it really helps you are games like this, against a really quality opponent on their home court. You face a little bit of stress and adversity, you know you can just get the ball to somebody and you’re going to get something coherent, somebody that likes those moments and he has an ability to draw fouls, score off the dribble, at the rim, pull-ups. So he can manufacture his own shot at the end of the clock against virtually anybody, and he can also set up other guys. He’s very unselfish and that’s what he’s been doing all year for us, he’s basically been our point guard and getting other guys involved, and then when its closing time he just makes whatever play is needed.
JIMMY BUTLER (22 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) On overtime mindset … Keep playing the way I’ve been playing, shoot the ball, pass it, and defend. I think that was the thing we talked about in the huddle. We were going to win it on the defensive end.
Is this game a milestone one for you? I don’t think so. I think that in this locker room, in this organization, this is one that we’re supposed to win. I think we have an opportunity to win any game – home or away. I’m not going to say this was (more) special than any other one. It was just two good teams going at it. We were fortunate enough to do our job.
On Bam Adebayo … Just him being aggressive. He rebounds the ball well. He gets everybody involved and whenever he’s being aggressive trying to score the ball he’s definitely making everybody’s job easier. Like I’ve said over and over again, he’s the heart and soul of this thing, and now that we got Justise (Winslow) back, he’s right up there with him. They’ve been doing this together for so long. They know what it takes to win, and they damn sure know what it takes to win in a Heat uniform.
JUSTISE WINSLOW (17 points, nine rebounds, four assists)
On tonight’s game … This is a constant mentality, that next man up mentality, for us … we did a great job of staying composed and really fighting, staying in the game early. It was just a gritty win. It wasn’t pretty. Our shots weren’t falling throughout the whole game, but we found a way to win and that’s all you can ask for, especially on the road.
On Jimmy Butler … Just his competitiveness. You can feel it defensively and offensively he’s just such a smart player. He finds the advantage and really just takes advantage of it. He makes others better. I mean, the triple-double tonight speaks for itself, but he was doing even more stuff that you won’t see on the box score. Encouraging guys, talking, and being in gaps defensively, so he was fantastic for us.
KELLY OLYNYK (16 points, six rebounds)
On Jimmy Butler… He’s a special player … there’s nothing Jimmy can’t do. He’s a super-unselfish player, but when the moment is there and the time is there, he steps to the plate and knocks sh-t out of the park.
On the first two wins of this road trip … It’s huge. Anytime you go into a trip, especially on the road, (when) you’re playing playoff basketball…you’re going into somebody else’s house, that’s not easy. They hadn’t lost at home this year and to be able to come in here and get this game gives us a boost of confidence … But you can’t feel good about yourself. We’ve got one more job to do on this road trip and it’s going to be tough going back-to-back in another tough environment, but we’re ready for it.
KEY RUN Jimmy Butler opened the overtime period with eight straight points for Miami … The Raptors were 0-for-9 from the field in overtime, with eight attempts coming from three-point range.
KEY STAT Miami outrebounded Toronto 55-48 … The Heat improved to a perfect 13-0 this season in games where they finish with more rebounds than their opponent … Jimmy Butler led Miami on the glass with 13 boards.
RAPTORS NOTES: • With the loss, Toronto falls to 15-5 this season and 9-1 at home … The defeat ends the Raptors’ season-high seven game win streak (Nov. 18 – Dec. 1) … Toronto completes a three-game homestand (Dec. 1-5) Thursday night vs. Houston. • The Raptors are now 1-1 in overtime games this season. • Norman Powell recorded a game-high 23 points and a season high-tying eight rebounds in 34 minutes off the bench – his fourth 20-point game of the season and first as a reserve. • Pascal Siakam notched his eighth double-double with 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. • Kyle Lowry returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous 11 games (Nov. 10 – Dec. 1) with a distal phalanx fracture in his left thumb … Lowry posted his first double-double of the season with 12 points, six rebounds and a season-high 11 assists in 41 minutes of action. • The Raptors had six players score double figures – Powell (23), Fred VanVleet (19), Siakam (15), Marc Gasol (14), Serge Ibaka (13) and Lowry (12) … Gasol’s 14 points were a season high.
HEAT NOTES: • With the win, Miami improves to 15-5 on the season and 6-6 on the road … The Heat have won three in a row (Nov. 29 – Dec. 3) … Miami finishes a three-game road trip (Dec. 1-4) tomorrow at Boston. • Tonight’s victory snapped a four-game winless streak against the Raptors. • Miami has won both of its overtime games this season. • Jimmy Butler posted his fifth career triple-double (Last: Apr. 6, 2017 – CHI at PHI) with 22 points, a season-high 13 rebounds and 12 assists in 41 minutes of play … Butler became just the 10th player in Heat franchise history to record a triple-double. • The Heat had five players score in double digits – Butler (22), Duncan Robinson (22), Bam Adebayo (18), Justise Winslow (17) and Kelly Olynyk (16) … Robinson reached the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season.
On if tonight’s finish changes the narrative of the game: I think it’s a different narrative and leaves a different taste in your mouth on how the game finished for sure. I thought we didn’t play a great game by any means but we’re right there throughout the hockey game. Then I thought we let it get away on us there at the end. First of all the 3-1 goal and then our response, our reaction after giving up the empty net goal was not what we want to be about.
On if he needs to give the team a scolding: We talked. Normally I would not go in after a loss or a game like this but I felt like it was important to address that situation. We want to be a team of high character and that cares for one another and I thought we just left our goaltender completely out to dry there and stopped playing so that’s not a good sign for our group but hopefully it is the shakeup that we would need. I think as I look back on the game as that third period is unfolding, I think we saw two different teams. One that has kind of figured out how to win and know what their recipe is and another on our side that’s trying to find its way. I think that’s the difference in the game.
On if he noticed a lack of focus towards the end of the game: The third goal is pretty dejecting obviously. I thought that goal was itself indicative of different points in the game where the game was going along just fine and then we lost our focus and our defensive play lacks. We have breakdowns that open the game and give them chances. That goal is dejecting for sure but we got a chance, we’ve got good people on the ice, a chance to go an make a push but it doesn’t happen for us. We put our other line out on the ice and they don’t have a response either so it’s a tough way to go but in the big picture it’s probably a better way for things to finish for us to get the shake up perhaps that we need before tomorrow’s game.
More on the loss: There were a lot of good things in the game I thought as well and we’ll focus on those as much as we can. There was some progress for us in a lot of areas but the reality is, it’s a 60 minute hockey game and there will be a lot of attention put on what happened after the third goal rightfully so but there’s a lot of other things where we’ve got to be better throughout the game and stay consistent every shift.
On putting Matthews out with Tavares at certain points in the game: It’s something I’ve frankly wanted to do throughout my time here but circumstances haven’t quite been right. Today for different reasons, what was happening in the game, coming off a penalty, the fact we needed a goal, we just kind of mixed it up that way.
On the play of the first and third line: Both that line and the third we didn’t get what we wanted out of that but they were a little out of sorts. There was good moments for each line but it wasn’t clicking or rolling like we hoped it would.
On if this is a teachable moment for himself and the players: Well I think just over time, get to know the guys a little better and get to know the tendencies, the strengths and weakness and all those types of things. There are certain things you want to tackle on a team basis in terms of structure and all that and there are other things you want to tackle individually. I think overtime I’m starting to learn that a little bit of where we’re at and we’ll continue to make strides, but we don’t have a whole lot of time here. We’re going to get right back at it with a very good team waiting for us in Toronto so we’ve got to regroup here really quickly and hopefully the way this game finished will leave a sour enough taste in our mouth that we’ll be coming out tomorrow and show we’re a different group.
JOHN TAVARES (FIVE SHOTS ON GOAL)
On tonight’s loss: Tight hockey game, we were able to battle back and tie it up but just not good enough execution throughout probably the second half of the game. I don’t think we generated enough in the middle of the ice or making it hard on their goaltender. Tight hockey game but unacceptable by us kind of letting it get out of hand the way it did. We’ve got to play a lot better no matter the score right till the end, especially in front of our goaltenders.
Ongoing up against a hot Philadelphia team and what made them difficult to play against: They’re obviously feeling pretty good about themselves, so they’ve got a lot of confidence in the way they’re playing and how they’re trying to win hockey games. They’ve got some pretty good defence who’ve got some experience and move the puck well, whether it’s breaking out of their own end, holding the line and you know I don’t think we did a good enough job finding ways to break that down and making it hard on them and not feeding their transition game or letting those guys get up the ice. It was pretty tight overall but they obviously stayed patient with it.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (21:20 TOI)
On how Philadelphia made it difficult tonight: I thought they did a good job of keeping us to the outside for most of the game but I felt like when we did get on the inside we had some good looks but weren’t able to capitalize. They did a pretty good job.
On a frustrating finish to the game: We tied it up then gave up a goal, we feel like we’re still kind of in it and have a chance to pull the goalie. We still had a couple minutes left but we let in that empty net goal and I mean we can’t just fold like that. It’s unacceptable to do that to our starting goalie, a guy that’s stolen games for us. He’s been a brick wall for us all year. That’s just unacceptable on our part. We can’t just fold, that’s unacceptable, we just let him out to dry, breakaway, 2-on-1’s, odd man rushes all in the last minute and suddenly the score is 6-1 so that’s on us. That just can’t happen.
TRAVIS DERMOTT (1 GOAL) On his goal tonight: Yeah he obviously played a pretty good game against us. It was just tough getting pucks by. The plan on that faceoff was to just try and get the puck to the net and we were going to have some guys crash the net and lucky enough he kind of lost it up high I guess and lucky bounce in.
On what happened towards the end of the game: I think even going back before that I had a tough pinch there and they ended up scoring on it and that was kind of tough to come back from that after that play. One goal game and I make a bad play and the game gets away from us pretty quick so I’ll take responsibility for that. I think we deserved and owe Freddy a better showing than that after a breakdown even if it seems like you might not be able to get back in the game.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (24 SAVES)
On the finish to tonight’s game: I don’t really worry about me, I worry about the way we play for the logo on the jersey. I think we’ve got to be more proud than that. Hopefully we can respond and show what kind of character we have.
On an uncharacteristic finish to tonight’s game: We’re still trying to figure out how to play this new system. Once they got the two-goal lead, you saw what happened but it’s up to us now to respond and move forward. I think this is done with and we’ve got a game tomorrow and we have to respond.