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Blogging Kadri, Raptors & Toronto FC

by Adnan Virk / Toronto Maple Leafs
LEAFS


Happy trails to Nazem Kadri. The kid shone on the ice with those slick offensive moves of his, with quick feet and soft hands and he can move back to the London Knights confident and secure in the knowledge that he made a positive impact in his brief taste of the Blue and White.

After scoring 70 points last season in junior, the century plateau is certainly within reason and after he packs on another 10 pounds on his 177 pound frame, he’ll be ready to roll in 2010-11, that much hungrier for the chance to skate for the big club. Unlike his idol Vincent Lecavalier, he won’t have the weight of the world on his shoulders when he first plays a regular season NHL game.

I’ll be making the trek to London next week to interview Nazem and a member of his family for a story to air during the intermission of one of the Leafs games to be broadcast on Leafs TV so look out for that soon. He’s a poised, humble kid who is part of the new wave of young Leafs which rightfully has fans looking ahead with optimism.

RAPTORS

The unqualified highlight of Raptors media day on Monday was the poutine hot dog unveiled by chef Robert Bartley at Burkie’s Dog House. Bartley makes Emeril Lagasse look puny by comparison when it comes to culinary tastes. Who knew that hickory sticks would be the piece de resistance with a good old fashioned wiener?

It was refreshing to see the same media faces familiar to those in Raptors land milling about getting acquainted with the new faces on the Raptors. Bryan Colangelo was self-assured as always, Jay Triano looked upbeat, and the Italian media was happy to not just attack Andrea Bargnani but Marco Bellinelli as well for a change.

I wasn’t able to secure a strong enough look at Chris Bosh’s new tattoo but I hear it was painful. Bosh was having a field day cracking up with his boy Jarrett Jack, who’s living in the same building as Bosh, just one floor apart. Both video game aficionados although one likes PlayStation and the other likes X-Box so they might have to compromise and just play Wii.

Sherm, Matt Devlin and I are breaking down all the happenings from Ottawa on Raptors Today every day this week at 6 p.m. ET.

TFC


After being given a gift by the defenders for the Fire in Chicago on Saturday with Dwayne DeRosario being the beneficiary, it was frustrating to see TFC unable to hold on to 1-nil and 2-1 leads. Having said that, one point is better than nothing and there’s still hope for the Reds.

But there’s no margin for error. The two teams that are the biggest thorns right now are DC United and Seattle. Chivas USA is three points up with two games in hand on Toronto and New England is two points up with two games in hand. So those teams have the inside track to playoff spots.

Clearly, the Sounders need to lose one of their remaining games, draw another one and win one which would put them at 42 points. So then if TFC runs the table and racks up three straight wins, putting them at 44 points and in the playoffs for the first time in their history. It may be improbable since Toronto hasn’t won back to back games since June but it’s far from impossible.
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