NICK NURSE NAMED EASTERN CONFERENCE COACH OF THE MONTH

NICK NURSE NAMED EASTERN CONFERENCE COACH OF THE MONTH

The National Basketball Association announced Monday that Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in January. This marks the third time Nurse has earned the honour overall and second time this season. He was also named coach of the month for games played in October/November.

Nurse guided the Raptors to a 12-3 record last month, including an Eastern Conference-best 9-1 record on the road. Toronto ranked fourth in the conference averaging 113.1 points and third defensively holding opponents to 106.1 points (third in the East). The team also lead the East averaging 12.8 three-pointers per game and 10.0 steals.

Highlighting the month was a season-high 10 game winning streak (Jan. 15-31), which catapulted Toronto into second-place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Raptors won by an average margin of +11.0 points per game during the streak, which included six road contests. Toronto matched a franchise-record Jan. 17 vs. Washington by scoring 140 points.  

A native of Carroll, Iowa, Nurse will coach Team Giannis at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. He became the first coach to win both an NBA and NBA G League championship, after guiding Toronto to its first NBA Championship last spring. 

Contrite Kapanen back for Leafs tonight — Toronto Sun

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8C87c0pqay/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link Read More

Contrite Kapanen back for Leafs tonight — Toronto Sun

By LANCE HORNBY

On a day the Maple Leafs brought the mentors in their lives to town, Kasperi Kapanen shifted uncomfortably in the spotlight of his one-game team suspension.

After 48 hours to think about missing the start of Friday’s practice which he over-slept for — coach Sheldon Keefe called it “a pattern” of such incidents — Kapanen faced the media Monday morning before returning to the lineup against the Florida Panthers.

“It’s not me not caring,” Kapanen said. “It’s just an honest mistake and it happens. I just have to own up to it. It (being forced to watch Saturday’s win over Ottawa from the press box) is something I deserved.

“I just overslept. Obviously, I don’t want my teammates to think that I’m not serious about this or what not, and they sat me out, and that’s that.”

Kapanen admitted the same practice tardiness happened once with the Marlies, and though his old farm coach Keefe could not recall the specific incident, the latter was more concerned that it’s happened a couple of times at the NHL level.

PANTHERS AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: Auston Matthews is third in the NHL with 36 goals. – Leads the league with 27 even-strength goals.- Leads in goals scored at 5-on-5 (22).- Tied for the lead in wrist shot goals (23).- Second in multi-goal games (9).- Tied for 11th among in points (36-25-61).- Fifth with 205 shots on goal.

FLORIDA PANTHERS (28-17-5 – 61 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (28-17-7 – 63 Points)

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: TSN4 ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus FLORIDA

ALL-TIME RECORD:43-34-7-5 (89 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:25-15-2-1 (43 Games)
2019-20:0-1-0
LAST FIVE:2-1-1
LAST 10:5-2-3

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus FLORIDA

GAMES PLAYED:Jason Spezza (49), John Tavares (33), Morgan Rielly (26)
GOALS:John Tavares (20), Jason Spezza (11), Mitch Marner (7)
ASSISTS:Jason Spezza (27), Morgan Rielly (17), John Tavares (10)
POINTS:Jason Spezza (38), John Tavares (30), Morgan Rielly (18)
PENALTY MINUTES:Jason Spezza (20), John Tavares (12), Tyson Barrie (10), William Nylander (10)

MAPLE LEAFS – PANTHERS TEAM STATS

 TORONTOFLORIDA
GOALS FOR (Rank):187 (2nd)180 (5th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       167 (25th)164 (22nd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):35/142 [24.6%] (4th)38/161 [23.6%] (6th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):113/146 [77.4%] (25th)108/139 [77.7%] (24th)
SHOTS (Rank):1751 (4th)1660 (12th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):2646 (3rd)2235 (t-22nd)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.6% (5th)49.8% (16th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.9% (3rd)50.2% (13th)

MAPLE LEAFS – PANTHERS NOTES

FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS:October 21, 1993 (Toronto 4, Florida 3 OT)
ALL-TIME RECORD:43-34-7-5 (89 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME:25-15-2-1 (43 Games)
ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD:18-19-5-4 (46 Games)
LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT ON THE ROAD:March 25, 2019 (Toronto 7, Florida 5)
  

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. PANTHERS

Michael HutchinsonAppeared in four games for Florida during the 2018-19 season.
Zach HymanSelected by Florida in the fifth round (123rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Mitch Marner100th NHL game (Nov. 22, 2017 at FLA)
John Tavares500th NHL point (Jan. 13, 2017 (NYI) at FLA)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS36 (Matthews)
ASSISTS37 (Marner)
POINTS61 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS18 (Marner, Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs34 (Muzzin)
SHOTS205 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%57.9% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %55.4% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS76 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS55 (Matthews)
HITS92 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:15 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:06 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:52 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Is 10-5-6 at home this season with a 3.16 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.
– Second in the NHL in wins (24).- Has recorded a save percentage over .900 in 24 of his starts, which is tied for fourth-most starts with a save percentage of .900 or higher.
Tyson Barrie– Has five multi-assist games, which is tied for ninth-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for sixth among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (9).
– Has been on the ice for 53 Toronto goals at even-strength, which is tied for 13th among NHL defencemen in on-ice goals for at even-strength.- Leads the Maple Leafs in slap shots taken (43). Lone Toronto skater to have taken over 30 slap shots.
Cody Ceci– One of 19 NHL defencemen to appear in at least 40 games and maintain a 5-on-5 on-ice goals-for percentage over 52 percent (52.3%) while starting fewer than 48 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (47%).- One of two Maple Leaf defencemen (Jake Muzzin) to have appeared in 40 games and average at least four hits per 60 minutes of ice time (4.70) and four blocked shots per 60 minutes of ice time (4.15).
Pierre Engvall– Has started 40.5 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the fourth lowest percentage among NHL rookies.- Is the lone Maple Leaf to average at least 1:00 per game in shorthanded ice time (1:09) and be even in on-ice goals while shorthanded (2 SHGF, 2 PPGA).
Justin Holl– One of 24 right-handed defencemen in the NHL to have an on-ice goals-for percentage of at least 53 percent (53.9%) at even-strength.- Has the highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (52.6%) among right-handed defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (44.9%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.
Michael Hutchinson– Has a 3-1-1 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage on home ice this season.
Zach Hyman– Fourth among Toronto skaters in points since January 1 (5-5-10; 11 GP).- Has eight points (3-5-8) in seven games against Atlantic Division opponents this season.- Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.76).
Andreas Johnsson– Has registered 44 (21 goals, 23 assists) of his 64 career points in 62 games at Scotiabank Arena.- Averages 2.00 shots per game, which ranks seventh among Toronto forwards.- Has drawn 11 penalties this season, which is tied for third-most among Toronto skaters.
Kasperi Kapanen– Fifth among Toronto skaters in even-strength points (8-15-23).- Has been on the ice for four of Toronto’s five shorthanded goals this season.- Has 10 points (3-7-10) in 14 games against Atlantic Division opponents.
Alex Kerfoot– Tied for seventh among Maple Leafs in even-strength goals (7). – 10th among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (7-11-18).- Has eight points (4 goals, 7 assists) in 12 games against Atlantic Division teams.
Mitch Marner– Has 10 multi-assist games, which is tied for the sixth-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.24 points per game, which is the 11th-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.49 primary assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks second among NHLers who have appeared in at least 30 games.- Ninth in the NHL in primary assists (25). His 25 primary assists are the most among NHLers who have appeared in 45 or fewer games.- Ranks fifth among NHL right wingers in shorthanded ice time per game (2:14).
Auston Matthews– Third among NHL skaters in goals (36).- Leads the League with 27 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (22).- Tied for the NHL lead in wrist shot goals (23).- Second in the NHL in multi-goal games (9).- Tied for 11th among NHL skaters in points (36-25-61).- Fifth in the NHL with 205 shots on goal.
William Nylander– Ranks first in goals (24) and second in points (24-23-47) among Swedish skaters this season.- Tied for the Maple Leaf lead in game-winning goals (4).- Has scored the first goal of the game three times for the Maple Leafs, which is tied for the most first goals among Toronto skaters.- One of 11 NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 (14:34) while maintaining a goal per 60-minute rate of at least 1.20 (1.27).
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.08 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fifth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 20 games.- Averaging 1.12 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is tied for fourth among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 20 games.
John Tavares– Tied for 25th among NHL skaters in multi-point games (13).- Has 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in 12 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season.- Has won 58.0 percent (235 won, 170 lost) of his faceoffs on home ice this season, which ranks seventh among NHL skaters who have taken 300 draws at home.- Has an on-ice shot attempt percentage of 54.8 percent at 5-on-5 when the Maple Leafs are leading in games, which is the highest percentage when leading among NHL forwards who have appeared in at least 40 games and average 15 minutes per game in 5-on-5 ice time (15:43).- Has drawn a team-high 14 penalties this season. 
  

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

Zach HymanHas points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games.
Mitch MarnerHas points (1-4-5) in four consecutive games.
Auston MatthewsHas assists (2) and points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games.
William NylanderHas points (5-4-9) in seven consecutive games.
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Jason SpezzaFive assists from 600 assists
John TavaresFour games from 800 games

RECENT MILESTONES

Rasmus SandinFirst NHL goal (January 27 at Nashville)
  

INJURY REPORT

Travis Dermott (Illness)Did not play on February 1 vs. Ottawa.
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)On injured reserve.
Morgan Rielly (Foot)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 126

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

January 31Loaned defenceman Kevin Gravel to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
January 31Recalled defenceman Kevin Gravel from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
January 30Loaned forward Tyler Gaudet to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
  

Davis celebrates Super Sunday as Raptors extend winning streak — Toronto Sun

The Raptors have been on a nice little run of late and the injury-ravaged Chicago Bulls weren’t about to bring this one to an end. The Bulls hung with Toronto for about a half but the second half of the game was almost all Toronto as the Raptors pulled away for a comfortable 129-102 win. […]

Davis celebrates Super Sunday as Raptors extend winning streak — Toronto Sun

Crucial test against Panthers awaits as Leafs try to keep place in playoff race — Toronto Sun

Barely into the month of February and already the Maple Leafs find themselves in a must-win situation. Correct? Well, that might be overstating it to a degree. No question, however, the Leafs would feel a lot better about their place in the standings if they beat the Florida Panthers on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena. […]

Crucial test against Panthers awaits as Leafs try to keep place in playoff race — Toronto Sun

Lakers prepare themselves for a season-long march of Kobe Bryant tributes — Daily News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In the hours before Kobe Bryant died, he spoke on the phone with LeBron James, the newly minted third-leading scorer in NBA history. Bryant had always been prideful in his career, but now was gracious despite being eclipsed. The two men, as warm as they had ever been in their careers, had…

Lakers prepare themselves for a season-long march of Kobe Bryant tributes — Daily News

Ryu Hyun-jin heads to first spring training with Blue Jays

http://yna.kr/AEN20200202002400315

“I feel great. Things have been going smoothly so far,” Ryu told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. The left-hander threw off flat ground during his personal camp in Okinawa, Japan, last month.

YONHAP NEWS AGENCY

All Headlines 14:10 February 02, 2020S

INCHEON, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) — Toronto Blue Jays’ South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin left the country Sunday for his first spring training with his new club in a new state, confident in his ability to deliver the goods with a clean bill of health.

After spending seven years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ryu signed a four-year, US$80 million free agent deal with the Blue Jays in December. In 2019, Ryu, who led all of baseball with a 2.32 ERA, finished runner-up in the National League (NL) Cy Young Award voting.

As a Dodger, Ryu had his spring training in Glendale, Arizona. He’ll prepare for his first season with the Jays in Dunedin, Florida, with pitchers and catchers set to report by Feb. 12.

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Feb. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Feb. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

In this Canadian Press photo via the Associated Press from Dec. 27, 2019, Ryu Hyun-jin (C) puts on his new jersey for the Toronto Blue Jays during his introductory press conference at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Ryu is flanked by his agent Scott Boras (L) and Blue Jays' general manager Ross Atkins. (Yonhap)
Introduced in Toronto by the Blue Jays after signing four-year contract in December.

Ryu said he’ll first spend about three days in Los Angeles to take care of some unfinished personal business and will arrive in Dunedin, on the west coast of Florida, a few days before the reporting date.

“I feel great. Things have been going smoothly so far,” Ryu told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. The left-hander threw off flat ground during his personal camp in Okinawa, Japan, last month.

“I’ll try to increase my velocity during spring training games,” Ryu added. “As long as I can stay healthy, I should be able to pitch well.”

Health has always been an issue for Ryu, who missed all of 2015 and then made only one start in 2016 with shoulder and elbow problems. Ryu has also been sidelined with injuries to his legs, groin, hip and neck.