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Hockey

🏒Patrick Laine Traded to Columbus Blue Jackets

January 25, 2021
Source: Mark Blinch / NHLI via Getty Images
Source: Mark Blinch / NHLI via Getty Images

The trade: Patrik Laine (pronounced LIE-NAY) was a superstar and fan favorite with the Winnipeg Jets since being drafted second overall in 2016. But despite helping the team make the playoffs for the past three seasons, the 22-year-old had yet to graduate to the first line. Getting restless, he wanted a chance to shine elsewhere.

  • Enter Pierre-Luc Dubois. Similarly unhappy with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dubois has been vocal about wanting out, and Columbus head coach John Tortorella was more than happy to get rid of him. Hence the swap. Laine’s heading to Columbus, leaving big skates in Winnipeg for Dubois to fill.
  • Dubois promises to be a great addition to the Jets’ line-up, though with the government deciding his quarantine length, we might not see him in action for a couple of weeks.

The rest of the North: Elsewhere, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are duking it out for the top spot in the division. The Leafs have won five of seven games, while the Habs are hanging on to first place without a single regulation loss (though they’ve lost twice in overtime). 

  • And those standings won’t change today, with just one tilt on the NHL schedule tonight: the sixth-placed Vancouver Canucks play the seventh-placed Ottawa Senators at 10 p.m. ET. Past our bedtimes. 
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The GIST's Bits & Bites - Toronto Six and Toronto Raptors

January 25, 2021
Source: Toronto Six/Twitter
Source: Toronto Six/Twitter

🏒NWHL: As you most definitely read in yesterday’s Sunday Scroll, the NWHL’s super-condensed two-week season in the “N-Dubble” began on Saturday, with the league’s first-ever Canadian team debut. 

  • The Toronto Six had a tough start to the season, losing Saturday’s game 3–0 to the 2018 Isobel Cup–winning Metropolitan Riveters and yesterday’s game 6–5, in a shootout to the reigning champs, the Minnesota Whitecaps. Game three is tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET, against the Boston Pride.

🏀NBA: The Toronto Raptors we know and love are clawing their way back to us. After a rocky (read: awful) start to the season, the Raps have won five of their last six games, including yesterday’s 107–102 game against the Indiana Pacers, and guys from the 2019 championship-winning roster, like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Norm Powell, are putting up big numbers.

  • That said, the Raps are still boasting a 7-9 record and fan favorites Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry are out with injuries. We’re cautiously optimistic...for now.

⚽️Football (the European kind): The FA WSL’s Manchester City may have forgotten which sport they’re playing. Last weekend’s 7–0 win over Aston Villa and yesterday’s 7–1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion look more like football scores of the NFL variety.

  • Amongst the goal scorers in yesterday’s blowout is Canada’s very own Janine Beckie, who notched this “extra point” to close out the match. Jolly good.
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The GIST's Bits & Bites - CA

January 21, 2021
Source: Alyssa Turner/Toronto Six Media
Source: Alyssa Turner/Toronto Six Media

🏒Hockey: Women’s pro hockey is making its 2021 debut on Saturday. The NWHL’s sixth season will be a unique one, taking place in a bubble in Lake Placid, New York, over a condensed two-week period. The six teams will play in a 15 game regular season, then head into a round robin before the sudden death postseason. 

  • Also making its debut: the league’s first Canadian team, the Toronto Six. Check out their schedule here (don’t miss Game #1 on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET), and keep an eye out for The GIST’s Sunday Scroll this weekend for a deep dive on all things women’s hockey.

⛳️Golf: The new LPGA season (much longer than the NWHL’s) is starting, too! The LPGA is kicking off their 34-tournament season with this weekend’s Diamond Resort Tournament of Champions. The four-day Florida event tees off this morning and features World No. 6 Brooke Henderson, who has big plans for 2021. Check out the leaderboard here.

🏒Toronto Maple Leafs Lead All-Canadian North Division

January 18, 2021
Source: Sharks on NBCS/Twitter
Source: Sharks on NBCS/Twitter

Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto, 7 p.m. ET: Okay, you ready? After losing to the pesky Sens on Friday, the Leafs rebounded well, beating Ottawa on Hockey Night in Canada. The Blue and White are feeling good after resident old-timer Joe Thornton scored his first goal as a Leaf in the process.

  • The other Leafs’ veteran (and former Senator), Jason Spezza, doesn’t share the same fortune. He was placed on waivers yesterday, meaning another team can pick him up. And if that happens, he’s threatening retirement. Weird ending to a pretty storied career, TBH.
  • For their part, the Jets are the only undefeated team in the North right now, with a grand total of one win. They had to miss practice Saturday after COVID-19 protocol kept them off the ice until yesterday, so they could be a bit rusty tonight.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m. ET: Connor McDavid and his Oiler buddies have a chance to save face from Saturday’s brutal 5–1 loss to the Canadiens. But based on Habs goalie Carey Price’s stand-on-his-head performance, there’s a solid chance he won’t let that happen.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET: The Canucks — who we had pretty high hopes for about a week ago — are last in the North Division. Jinx, we owe them a coke. There’s hope though: star winger J.T. Miller could make his season debut after missing the first three games due to COVID-19 protocol.

🎾🏒

Bits & Bites: This Week in Sports (Canada)

January 14, 2021
SOURCE: TENNIS CANADA
SOURCE: TENNIS CANADA

🏒NHL: Regardless of how desperately we missed hockey, it still feels like the new NHL season snuck up on us last night...especially with that 5:30 p.m. ET puck drop between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. Sidney Crosby was back to his classic goal-scoring ways, but so were the Flyers, who won 6–3.

  • The prime matchup of the night was, of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. Renewing their age-old rivalry, the Leafs took the W in overtime. Check out all the scores from night one here.

🎾Tennis: Thanks to three straight qualifying wins, 30-year-old Vancouverite Rebecca Marino qualified for the upcoming Australian Open yesterday, securing her first major appearance since 2013. Age is but a number.

  • On the flipside, former World No. 4 Eugenie Bouchard was dealt a second qualifying round loss (and a classic sister snapback from her twin), so she’ll miss the major, due to start February 8th. Ouch.

⚽️Soccer: Everyone, including Megan Rapinoe, knows that Canadian soccer is the best soccer. And the North Carolina Courage showed they agree, drafting Deanne Rose, Canada’s youngest goal scorer in Olympic soccer history, as their 10th overall pick in last night’s NWSL Draft. Represent!