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The North Division last begins tonight
A couple of issues to know for the first-ever Jets-Canadiens playoff collection:
Nobody anticipated this. Even essentially the most diehard Winnipeg and Montreal followers needed to concede that it might most likely be the Leafs and Oilers assembly in spherical two. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had simply accomplished a historic offensive season to win the scoring race by a mile, and Toronto’s Auston Matthews ran away with the objectives title. You can sense the TV execs drooling over that second-round showdown. However the Jets held McDavid to “solely” 4 factors in 4 video games as they swept the Oilers, whereas the Habs restricted Matthews to only one purpose in seven video games, and right here we’re.
It is a marquee goalie matchup. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck received the Vezina Trophy final season and, whereas he wasn’t among the many three finalists introduced yesterday, he is having one other wonderful yr. The 28-year-old allowed solely eight objectives in 4 video games vs. McDavid’s Oilers and leads all playoff goalies in save share (.950). Montreal’s Carey Worth, a former Vezina winner himself, caught hearth late within the Leafs collection, posting a .945 save share within the last three video games to assist the Canadiens rally from the brink of elimination.
There’s extra to those groups than simply the goalies. Winnipeg’s blue-line is weak, however the Jets make up for it with a deep ahead unit led by Mark Scheifele (63 factors in 56 video games this season) and a gifted supporting forged together with Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler. All these guys had extra factors this season than Montreal’s main scorer, Tyler Toffoli. However the Habs play arduous and have a pair of top-notch defencemen in Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. Worth described Montreal’s defence corps collectively as “warriors” who’re “large and imply and poised with the puck.”
Followers shall be within the buildings. If not for the pandemic, we would be handled to 2 of one of the best crowds in sports activities. However a minimum of the seats will not be fully empty. The Manitoba authorities is allowing 500 fully vaccinated healthcare workers to attend Recreation 1, and Quebec let 2,500 followers go to Recreation 6 vs. the Leafs.
A troublesome opponent is subsequent. The winner represents the all-Canadian division within the Stanley Cup semifinals, the place it can face the winner of the Colorado-Vegas collection. The Avalanche received the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s greatest regular-season file and are 5-0 within the playoffs after sweeping St. Louis and taking Recreation 1 vs. Vegas. The Golden Knights really received yet one more regular-season recreation than the Avs (they misplaced the Presidents’ Trophy on a tiebreaker) earlier than beating a feisty Minnesota workforce in seven in spherical one.
Learn extra concerning the Jets-Habs matchup in this story by CBC Sports contributor Vicki Hall. Watch Recreation 1 tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on the CBC TV community, or stream it free of charge on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports activities app. Similar for Recreation 2 of the Vegas-Colorado collection, which begins at 10 p.m. ET.
Canada’s males’s baseball workforce moved one step nearer to qualifying for the Olympics. Final night time’s 6-5 win over Cuba clinched a spot within the “tremendous spherical” on the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier in Florida. The groups on this match are break up into two teams, and the highest two in every advance to the tremendous spherical. Canada and Venezuela (each 2-0) are assured to maneuver on from Group B, however their group-stage finale at this time is large as a result of it is successfully a super-round recreation. The way in which the tremendous spherical works is you play the 2 groups from the other group, and the end result out of your group-stage recreation towards the opposite workforce carries over to the super-round standings. The workforce with one of the best file on the finish of the tremendous spherical qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics. The second- and third-place groups get yet one more likelihood on the last Olympic qualifier in Mexico later this month. The Canada-Venezuela recreation was in progress at our publish time. Watch it live here.
There are not any Canadians left within the French Open singles attracts. Unseeded teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez ran right into a superior athlete in No. 23 Madison Keys, who powered her approach to a 6-1, 7-5 win within the second spherical at this time. Bianca Andreescu (the ladies’s No. 6 seed) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (males’s No. 20) each misplaced within the first spherical, whereas Milos Raonic (males’s No. 17) withdrew earlier than the occasion began. Fernandez will stick round to play ladies’s doubles with fellow Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski. Canada’s Sharon Fichman and a Mexican companion are seeded ninth for that match and superior to the second spherical at this time. Read more about today’s French Open results and watch highlights here.
The NHL draft lottery is tonight. Looks like they tweak this factor yearly, so this is the way it works now: Two attracts shall be held, to find out the No. 1 and No. 2 picks. Then picks 3-16 shall be stuffed out primarily based on inverse order of how the non-playoff groups completed within the total standings this season. Which means last-place Buffalo will get no worse than the No. 3 decide. The Sabres have one of the best odds of successful the best choice (16.6 per cent). Anaheim (12.1) is subsequent, adopted by New Jersey and growth Seattle (each 10.3). One wrinkle: Arizona was stripped of its first-round decide for understanding prospects final yr earlier than it was allowed to. So if the Coyotes win both of tonight’s drawings, there shall be a do-over (it is unclear to me why the NHL would not simply take away Arizona from the attracts). This can be a tough yr to have the No. 1 decide due to the dearth of junior-hockey video games as a result of pandemic. The highest-ranked North American prospect is Owen Energy, a defenceman from the College of Michigan. The highest worldwide prospect is William Eklund, a winger within the Swedish Hockey League.
The ladies’s hockey world championship shall be held in Calgary this summer time. Organizers had been mulling a brand new host and new dates for the reason that match scheduled for Nova Scotia within the spring was cancelled for the second straight yr as a result of pandemic. It’s going to now be held Aug. 20-31 at WinSport Area at Canada Olympic Park. The US has received 5 consecutive ladies’s worlds. Canada settled for bronze in 2019 — the primary time for the reason that match’s inception in 1990 that Canada and the U.S. didn’t meet within the gold-medal recreation. Read more about the rescheduled 2021 event here.
Damian Lillard had probably the greatest NBA playoff video games ever — and misplaced. The Path Blazers star scored 55 factors (tied for seventh-most ever in a post-season recreation) and hit a playoff-record 12 three-pointers final night time. However Portland fell 147-140 in double additional time to Denver, which now leads the first-round collection 3-2. Read more about Dame’s big game and see one of his highlight-reel triples here.
Kia Nurse sank a spectacular half-court buzzer beater to win a WNBA recreation. You do not see many Eurostep runners from the brand, however the Canadian guard nailed one final night time to present Phoenix an 84-83 victory over Chicago. Test it out:
Arising on CBC Sports activities
Along with tonight’s NHL playoff video games, this is what you’ll be able to stream reside on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports activities app:
Olympic males’s baseball qualifying: Watch the ultimate two video games of the group stage on the Americas qualifier — United States vs. Puerto Rico and Cuba vs. Colombia — tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
Seaside volleyball: Watch males’s and girls’s centre-court matches on the World Tour occasion within the Czech Republic on Thursday from 3 a.m. ET to midday ET.
Indoor volleyball: Watch Canada play Iran on the males’s Nations League occasion in Italy on Thursday at 5:45 a.m. ET.
You are up to the mark.