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Maple Leafs’ win streak halted at five after loss to surging Kings

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TORONTO – With the Kings and Maple Leafs conducting two significant deadline trades in recent years, an extra layer of revenge was baked into their matchup Monday.

Grizzled shutdown man Jake Muzzin won a Stanley Cup in Los Angeles but now logs heavy minutes for the Leafs, and Toronto starting goalie Jack Campbell was the unchosen one in L.A. when the franchise crowned Cal Peterson as Jonathan Quick’s incumbent.

“We knew we were trading a pretty good goaltender away, but where we were as an organization—and even where we are right now — we have to make some strategic moves,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan. He pointed to Tobias Bjornfot, the emerging young D-man L.A. selected with the first-round pick it got in return. “It all works out based on where the teams are in their evolution.”

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Things worked out nicely for Trevor Moore, who notched his first of the year and first of the game off a feed from fellow traded Leaf Carl Grundstrom.

Moore smiled when confirming he’d put money on the board for his long-awaited return — and he’ll be happy to pay up after L.A. executed a fine 5-1 road win.

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In Toronto, the undrafted California kid developed his two-way game and had hoisted the 2018 Calder Cup under current Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.

Practising at Coca-Cola Coliseum on Sunday, Moore’s Kings teammates pointed his name out on the ring of Marlies who have graduated to the Show.

“I think a lot about his journey, a guy that came fresh out of college and struggled to find himself in the American League and eventually did and was a very important part of our team that won the Calder Cup,” Keefe said. “It was tough to see him go at that time.

“At the same time, I’m happy to see him be a full-time NHL player, be home in California, all those things. I got a lot of time for Trevor.”

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The speedy Andreas Athanasiou went inside-out on Muzzin and flipped a puck high past Campbell’s far shoulder to double the Kings’ lead.

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Two Kings rush goals and a 2-0 deficit concluded a rather lacklustre opening period from the Leafs.

“They’re a very good team 5-on-5,” Keefe assessed correctly. “We expect it’ll be difficult to get through the neutral zone and get access to their goaltender. We’re going to have to be patient.”

John Tavares and Toronto’s power-play extended their respective hot streaks early in the second, chopping the lead in half.

But noted Leaf killer Phillip Danault crashed the crease and knocked a puck off his boot to make it 3-1.

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A dialed-in Quick withstood the Leafs’ third-period push, and Danault and Adrian Kempe (empty net) added insurance markers late.

The Kings simultaneously extended their win streak to five and ended Toronto’s at that same number.

“When you win games and you win them the right way, you [learn] what that feels like as a team, and you can replicate it. That’s why you see teams go on win streaks — you get a feeling what the recipe is,” Jason Spezza said.

The Maple Leafs know their blueprint for what works.

With three more games this week — Philadelphia is on deck Wednesday — the trick will be getting back to that winning recipe quickly.

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Fox’s Fast 5

• Justin Holl and callup Joey Anderson took part in warmup despite being healthy scratches. Cool moment for Joey who (in addition to getting NHL money for a few days) got to look across the ice and see younger brother Mikey — a defenceman for the Kings.

• Travis Dermott on his name surfacing in trade rumours: “I’ll keep doing what I do until something happens, if it’s going to happen.

“The best I can do for myself is come in here and show what I have every day. I’m in the Blue and White now, and that’s where my heart is.”

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• The Maple Leafs were dinged for another too-many-men infraction and are now tied with the New Jersey Devils for the most bench penalties this season (four).

• Danault, Athanasiou and Alex Iafallo looked fantastic, all enjoying multi-point nights.

• Year-round mustache owner Auston Matthews unveiled custom Movember edition skates and stick:





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NFL Fan Makes Case For A Calvin Ridley Breakout Campaign

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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

 

Calvin Ridley is an interesting case study.

Ridley was suspended for the entirety of the 2022 NFL season, given that he had gambled on a few games in the past while he was injured.

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However, Ridley has been since traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, which has been met with mixed opinions across the league.

One fan, in particular, believes in Ridley for the 2023 NFL campaign, citing several examples to support his hypothesis.

Ridley hasn’t played in the NFL for over a year.

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Although Deshaun Watson was suspended for a different reason, his situation is similar to Ridley’s, considering he had a long hiatus from the league.

As seen in the case of Watson, he wasn’t quite able to knock off the rust in the six games he started this season and will look to improve mightily in 2023.

Ridley has been injured and hasn’t been able to practice in an NFL training facility because of his suspension.

What will Ridley look like in the Jaguars offense next season?

Trevor Lawrence took a massive step forward in 2022, leading the Jaguars to his first-ever playoff victory.

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If Ridley is fully healthy, he might be a great addition to this Jaguars team, giving them another veteran presence at the wide receiver position.

The Jaguars already have Christian Kirk and Zay Jones under contract, and both are great young receivers.

However, someone like Ridley could make an immediate impact, as he could take over as the number one overall receiver, taking a bit of pressure off the plates of Kirk and Jones.

The post NFL Fan Makes Case For A Calvin Ridley Breakout Campaign appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NBA Insider Makes Big Claim About Kevin Durant

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(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

 

The departure of Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets has substantially changed the team.

Obviously, Irving was a major part of the team and its offensive output, meaning they will have to play a lot harder in order to keep winning.

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There has been some speculation that Irving’s exit means the team could make even more huge changes.

Numerous people even wonder if the team will end up shipping away Kevin Durant.

Stephen A. Smith thinks that’s possible.

The NBA insider was on ESPN and said he’s hearing that Durant may be on the move.

“I’m hearing he’s on the verge of potentially being moved, I’m hearing Boston is making some calls, keep your eye on that. Jaylen Brown,” Smith said.

The idea of Durant leaving the Nets seems crazy on the surface but it makes sense in some ways too.

Durant is one of the biggest basketball players alive right now and is a future Hall of Famer.

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That means that he would only be traded for a positively huge haul.

If the Nets decide now is the time to blow the team up and start from scratch, they would get a good start in that process by trading Durant.

As for the Celtics, would they really be willing to part ways with Brown?

The team is currently the best in the entire NBA so why would they take a chance and possibly ruin such a good thing?

Is the allure of Durant that strong?

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There have been rumors of Durant for Brown before and they never amounted to anything so this could again end without any changes to either team.

We will know within the next few days.

The post NBA Insider Makes Big Claim About Kevin Durant appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Aaron Rodgers to Raiders 'would be a dream scenario' according to Davante Adams | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Nick Wright, Greg Jennings, Kevin Wildes and Chris Broussard discuss Las Vegas WR Davante Adams’ latest pitch to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Adams stated that reuniting with his former teammate in Las Vegas “would be a dream scenario” for the star WR.



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