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Top three Toronto Maple Leafs moments of the past decade –



For a team that exits the 2010s without a single playoff series victory, there is no shortage of memorable Toronto Maple Leafs moments from the past decade — good, bad and ugly.

From Phil Kessel swinging a lightsaber at big John Scott, Curtis McElhinney stoning Sidney Crosby at the doorstep, the kids making the post-season ahead of schedule, John Tavares returning home to his bed-sheets squad and Auston Matthews sniping the Centennial Classic winner with a forgiving Dave Keon in the house, the memories are indelible and plentiful.

Here’s our top three.

4-1 is the most dangerous lead in sports • May 13, 2013

The most memorable Maple Leafs moment of the decade is a painful one, because of course it is. For 52 years, Toronto’s hockey narrative has been an exercise in misery, broken up by the odd bout with devastating disappointment.

When Nazem Kadri scored 5:29 into the third period on that night of May 13, 2013, giving Toronto a 4-1(!) lead over the Boston Bruins, Maple Leaf Square partied like Round 2 was reality.

Cue the greatest comeback/collapse in Game 7 NHL history.

Nathan Horton scores at 9:18. The Bruins pull Tuukka Rask with two minutes left. Toronto can’t hit the open net. Milan Lucic scores with the sixth attacker on the ice at 18:38. Patrice Bergeron ties it with 51 seconds on the clock, and again in overtime — thrusting a goalie (James Reimer, under siege), an organization and a city into a state of shock.

So, when the Leafs later gave away three one-goal leads to the Bruins to squander Game 7 at TD Garden in 2018, or failed to stomp the throat in either Game 6 or Game 7 in the 2019 rematch, those failures feel quaint by comparison.

“We were undocking from the space station and returning to Earth during that final game of that series,” Canadian astronaut and noted Leafs fan Chris Hadfield told The Toronto Star.

“While I was coming down in flames, the Leafs were going down in flames too, unfortunately.”

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Auston Matthews hits ’em with the four • Oct. 12, 2016

The scorched-earth rebuild, the trading away of sniper extraordinaire Phil Kessel and miscast captain Dion Phaneuf, the washing the sins of Salutegate, that bizzaro Peter Horachek era, the expertly executed tank campaign and president Brendan Shanahan holding a No. 1 placard at the finale of the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery while the most expensive head coach in hockey history jumped for joy in his living room… it all made sense on Opening Night of the Auston Matthews era.

The soon-to-be Calder Trophy winner scored not once, twice or thrice but four times in his NHL debut as superstars from around the league began tuning in and tweeting their amazement at the clinic in Kanata.

“It was pretty surreal,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“That’s the best night we’ve had since I’ve been here by 10 miles, not even close,” former coach Mike Babcock said. “Now we have an opportunity.”

And an entire nation of Leafs fans felt the same.

In a perfectly Leafian twist, it was Ottawa’s Kyle Turris — Matthews’ man, he’d admit — who scored the overtime winner for the Senators, but for once there was hope. A franchise centre had arrived, with a bang. Hey, how many single regular-season hockey games spawn their own rap songs?

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Tyler Bozak scores in a snow globe • Jan. 1, 2014

The spectacle was a long time coming — a lockout put the kibosh on the 2013 Winter Classic — but totally worth the wait… and the white-knuckle drive across Highway 401.

The historic outdoor matinee at Ann Arbour’s Michigan Stadium packed 105,491 Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs fans into the Big House, warmed them with cold domestic beer and sprinkled their toques with snowflakes the size of toonies. Best of all, some marketing wizard dreamed the idea of selling half the building’s seats to Toronto supporters and the other half to Detroit, creating a red-versus-blue battle line in the stands.

Aesthetic bonus: Both teams wore darks.

That the game itself was a tight affair with three lead changes and a back-and-forth shootout was a cherry on top of the snow globe. Tyler Bozak capped off the victory by sniping low-blocker on Jimmy Howard, prompting Babcock to crown the day “a home run for hockey.”

“Having 105,000 people screaming and yelling for us is really amazing,” Bozak said. “As hockey players, we’re never going to forget that.”

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New York Mets vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 9/23/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction – Sports Chat Place



Tampa Bay Rays (36-19) at New York Mets (24-30)

MLB Baseball: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm (Citi Field)

Tyler Glasnow (4-1) (4.21) vs. Michael Wacha (1-3) (6.75)

The Line: New York Mets +190 / Tampa Bay Rays -210 — Over/Under:
Click Here for the Latest Odds

TV: SNY, SUN Stream the MLB Game of the Day all season on ESPN+. Sign up now!

The Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets meet Wednesday in MLB action from Citi Field. 

This will be the third and final installment in a three-game series between the Mets and Rays this week. Tampa Bay landed the first blow with a 2-1 win on Monday. In the Tuesday game two, the Mets were able to strike back with a 5-2 victory of their own. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place. 

Check Out Our Cosensus Report To See How Many Handicappers are On A Play

New York Mets vs Tampa Bay Rays Free Pick 9/23/20 MLB Pick and Prediction MLB Tips

The Rays posted just five hits to the Mets’ 10 in the Tuesday loss, and could only come up with a pair of runs. Willy Adames put up a solo homer with two runs for Tampa Bay in that one, and starting pitcher Blake Snell took the loss with 5.2 innings, three earned runs, six hits, three walks and nine strikouts.
For the Wednesday starting pitcher outing, Tampa Bay will go with Tyler Glasnow. In his 10 starts this year, Glasnow has a 4-1 record with a 4.21 ERA and 83 Ks in 51.1 innings. Over his MLB career, Glasnow is 14-18 with a 4.46 ERA and 375 Ks in 309.0 innings. 

Over on the Mets’ side, starting pitcher Seth Lugo put up 6.1 innings in a win on Tuesday with four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and seven strikeouts. Pete Alonso slapped a homer with three RBI and two hits on the night.  

In the Wednesday game three starter job, the Mets are going with Michael Wacha. In his seven games (six starts) this year, Wacha is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA and 33 Ks in 28.0 innings. Across his MLB career, Wacha is 60-42 with a 4.00 ERA and 792 Ks in 895.2 innings of work.

The Rays are 12-2 in their last 14 games following a loss and 4-1 in their last five Wednesday games. Tampa Bay is 18-6 in their last 24 road games and 12-4 in their last 16 games as a road favorite. 

Meanwhile, the Mets are 14-3 in their last 17 Wednesday games and 2-5 in their last seven home games. New York is 6-16 in their last 22 games as an underdog and 24-53 in their last 77 games as a home underdog. 

Pick: Going Rays again here. There aren’t a lot of teams I’d pick over Tampa Bay right now; they’re just cooking. Glasnow has been great lately as well, with at least seven strikeouts in each of his last seven starts. In all likelihood, this will be Glasnow’s final start before the playoffs begin, and he’s got a nice opportunity to help the Rays put one of the final nails in the Mets’ 2020 season coffin. 


Andrew’s Pick
Tampa Bay Rays -210

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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Blue Jays rout Yankees, inch closer to playoff berth – TSN



BUFFALO, United States — The Toronto Blue Jays showed Wednesday night why they could be a dangerous wild-card team in the playoffs.

Danny Jansen hit two solo homers as the Blue Jays used a 16-hit attack and eight-run sixth inning to bulldoze the New York Yankees 14-1 at Sahlen Field. Jansen had four hits and three runs to help the Blue Jays move closer to nailing down a playoff berth.

“Putting ourselves in this spot is a great feeling,” Jansen said. “But we’ve still got work to do.”

Toronto (29-27) trimmed its magic number to one with the victory and can secure its first post-season spot since 2016 with a win in Thursday’s series finale.

Cavan Biggio scored three times, Randal Grichuk added a pair of runs and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., had three RBIs. Starter Robbie Ray was effective over four-plus innings and A.J. Cole threw a scoreless fifth inning for the win.

Under Major League Baseball’s expanded playoff structure, 16 teams will reach the post-season. Division winners will be seeded No. 1 through No. 3 in each league, second-place teams will be seeded fourth through sixth, and two third-place wild-card teams will get the seventh and eighth seeds.

The Los Angeles Angels, currently ninth in the AL, kept their faint playoff hopes alive earlier Wednesday with a 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

Facing veteran right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (3-3), the Blue Jays took advantage of a couple breaks to put up two quick runs in the first inning.

With Biggio on after a leadoff walk, Teoscar Hernandez hit a double-play ball up the middle that took an unexpected high bounce near the lip of the grass and rolled into the outfield.

Guerrero stroked a single that scored Biggio with the game’s first run. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez tried to pick the young slugger off first base but a wide throw went down the right-field line as Hernandez trotted home.

Ray breezed through the first inning but issued two walks in the second. Gio Urshela singled to load the bases and a passed ball allowed Luke Voit to score the Yankees’ lone run.

New York loaded the bases with none out in the fifth inning. But Cole (3-0) held off the heart of the Yankees’ order by fanning Giancarlo Stanton and getting Voit — who leads the majors in homers — on an infield fly and then Gleyber Torres on a flyout.

“That was really the game,” Jansen said. “Saving that was huge for us. Bases loaded, no outs, coming in and getting that. There’s a lot of momentum swing right there.”

Toronto followed New York’s lead by putting its first three batters on base in the sixth. The Blue Jays took full advantage by batting around with a two-run single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Biggio’s two-run double serving as highlight blows.

The victory came a day after New York dumped Toronto 12-1.

“Today was a big game after yesterday,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. “That’s what they’ve done all year — come back from top losses. It was great to see, facing another good pitcher like Tanaka, coming back tonight and scoring all those runs. A big win for us.”

New York (32-24) had four hits and a season-high four errors. The Yankees have a magic number of one to secure a second-place finish in the East Division.

Ray, who was pulled after the first two batters reached in the fifth, allowed three hits, four walks and had five strikeouts. Tanaka gave up three earned runs, eight hits and three walks while striking out five.

Jansen, who went deep off Tanaka in the fourth, added another shot in the eighth off Yankees catcher Erik Kratz, giving the Toronto backstop six homers on the season.

Toronto was a wild-card entry when it last reached the post-season four years ago. The Blue Jays went on to reach the AL Championship Series for the second straight year.

Notes: Ross Stripling threw four shutout innings of relief for his first save. … The game took three hours 39 minutes to play. … The Blue Jays will send ace Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2, 3.00 ERA) to the mound on Thursday. The Yankees will also start a left-hander in Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 5.12). … The Blue Jays will close out their regular season with a three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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Lightning’s Stamkos returns, scores in Game 3 of Cup Final vs. Stars –



Steven Stamkos is back.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain is playing his first NHL game since February as he returns to the ice for Game 3 of the team’s Stanley Cup Final matchup with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.

And in his third shift of the game, Stamkos buried a goal over the blocker of Stars goalie Anton Khudobin. Stamkos took a pass in the neutral zone from Victor Hedman, glided into the Stars’ zone and sniped a shot past Khudobin to lift Tampa Bay to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Stamkos had yet to suit up in the 2020 post-season, suffering an injury before the Lightning reconvened from the season pause to begin training. The centreman’s last game came on Feb. 25 — amid a 15-game, 22-point scoring streak — after having core muscle surgery. 210 days have passed since then. The 30-year-old finished the campaign with 66 points across 57 games.

The Cup Final is level at one game apiece after the Lightning’s 3-2 win over the Stars on Monday.

Watch Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN NOW.

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