What 2 Watch (Feb. 17-19)

Last weekend was a light one in sports but this weekend will see a lot more action for all of the sport addicts. With hockey continuing to move towards the playoffs there is plenty of puck to watch this weekend. The NHL will see an All-Canadian matchup for the Hockey night in Canada as the Toronto Maple Leafs look to hold on to the 8th spot in the East while the Vancouver Canucks look to continue the fight at the top of the Western Conference. The CHL is also nearing the end of their season and they will be back on Sportsnet for Friday Night Hockey. This Friday will feature two of the best teams in the QMJHL as the 4th place Quebec Remparts take on the 1st place Saint John Seadogs. Meanwhile Basketball also continues to roll as the NBA continues their condensed season with a home-and-home series starting on Friday. The Los Angeles Lakers will look to Kobe Bryant to lead them again against the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash in the first game of the home-and-home series. The NCAA is coming closer to their final tournament as March Madness continues to get closer. With the season almost over any loss can end the hopes of any team and that is what the Michigan State Spartans will try to prevent against the Purdue Boilermakers. There will also be some special events including the continuation of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships as they move to the home of the sport in Sweden. Curling will also be featured this weekend with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts takes place as 12 rinks from around Canada look to become the newest Team Canada. The weekend is full of great events as there will be plenty of sports to watch to keep every sports fan happy.

 

CHL Hockey: Quebec Remparts vs. Saint John Seadogs

 

 

 

With only a month left in the CHL regular season Friday Night Hockey is back in time to see the late season push. They will get back to the games with a QJMHL matchup of two of the best teams in the league. The Saint John Seadogs have dominated the QJMHL again after winning the President’s Cup and winning the Memorial Cup in 2012. Saint John is at the top of the standings again with a firm grip on the Maritimes Division and are in a tight battle for the first place spot in the QMJHL. The Seadogs look towards Zack Phillips, a Minnesota Wild draft pick, for their offence as he has 70 points, 27 goals and 43 assists, this year. Meanwhile the Quebec Remparts are having a great season under GM and Head Coach Patrick Roy. Roy, a former NHL star, was fined earlier in the week for claiming that the QMJHL pressured him to push Mikhail Grigorenko into the Prospects game. They will try to put this behind them as the Remparts have been the centre of controversy for the last few years in the QMJHL. The Remparts sit in 4th place in the QMJHL and second place in the East Division behind the Shawinigan Cataractes. Patrick Roy’s son is the leading scorer as Frederick Roy has come back from a controversial cross check in 2008 that saw him suspended 15 games. Roy has 70 points, 21 goals and 49 assists, to add to one of the top prospects in this year’s NHL entry draft, Mikhail Grigorenko’s 69 points, 31 goals and 38 assists. These two teams will face off as Friday Night Hockey on Sportsnet returns with a great QMJHL matchup.

 

When: Friday February 17th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: Sportsnet

 

NBA Basketball: Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers

 

 

 

 

 

The NBA continues on and amidst the “Linsanity” craze there are plenty of other games to take in. This includes this weekend when the L.A Lakers and Phoenix Suns begin a home-and-home weekend series. These two teams faced off earlier in the year in a game that saw Kobe Bryant play a great game. Bryant dominated the game in January scoring almost 50 points on the Suns and winning the game almost single-handedly. The Suns will be looking for some revenge though as they look to shut down Bryant this time around. It could be easier this time too as Bryant has struggled lately including 21.7% in the first half for the last three games. Bryant has struggled to get going this year as his first half performances have not been good. Meanwhile the Phoenix Suns have struggled lately as they are on a three game losing streak which may have something to do with the fact that these three games were back-to-back-to-back. Steve Nash and Grant Hill have not been able to carry the team as they usually have but both are still playing well. The Suns are the opposites of the Lakers as they have been able to start games well but have not been able to keep a lead to the end of the game. When Phoenix travels to Los Angeles they will look to avenge their 99-83 loss earlier in the year.  The Suns will also be looking to climb back into the Pacific Division race where the Lakers and Clippers sit on top. The first game on Friday will be a matchup of two teams with superstars that will both be looking to lead their team to a win.

 

When: Friday February 17th

Time: 10:30 pm

Channel: Sportsnet One

 

Red Bull Crashed Ice: Are, Sweden

 

 

 

Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships continue as the craziness of downhill skating makes the trip to Sweden. This will mark a return to the beginnings of the sport with the first ever Ice cross downhill race was held. In 2001 at Stockholm, Sweden Red Bull Crashed Ice began with the first ever downhill race. Red Bull will return to where it all started as they travel to Are, Sweden for the third of four races in the World Championships. Canadian Kyle Croxall has been great in he first two races winning both races so far putting him in 1st place overall. A win in Are could put Croxall far ahead to the point where he might not be caught. Sitting with 2000 points at the top of the standings adding another 3000 would give Croxall a big lead that could make it hard for others to catch up. In second place is Fabian Mels who finished 5th in St. Paul but came back in Valkenburg finishing second. This great finish in Valkenburg launched Mels into the second spot in the overall standings. Meanwhile Scott Croxall has fallen out of the top three giving way to Attu Pihlainen who fell one spot from second to third. Pihlainen’s last race in Valkenburg was not a good one as he finished in 7th place forcing him down the main standings. With only two more races to go in the World Championship Are could be a very important race with Kyle Croxall looking to take a convincing lead.

 

When: Saturday February 18th

Time: 12:30 pm

Channel: Sportsnet

 

Scotties Tournament of Hearts

 

 

 

The 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts kicks off in Red Deer, Alberta as teams from all over Canada compete for the championship. The annual Canadian Women’s National Championship will feature teams representing every province and territory as they look to represent Canada in the National Championship. Wearing the Red and White in this tournament will be defending champion Amber Holland and her rink from Saskatchewan. Last year Holland’s rink took the final game down to the wire as they beat perennial favorite Jennifer Jones. After they won the Tournament of Hearts the Holland rink moved on to the National Championships where they took home the top prize. They will return to the Tournament of Hearts to defend their Canadian and National titles. Jennifer Jones is also back with her rink from Manitoba this year to try to avenge the extra ends loss from the 2011 Scotties Tournament. Jones and Holland are the favorites this year again as they seem to be on the path to the finals again this year. To stop them will be Heather Smith-Dacey from Nova Scotia who won bronze last year. The top three are all back to win but there are also another 9 rinks vying for the opportunity to be the new Team Canada. TSN will have full coverage of the tournament all weekend with the first 5 draws throughout the weekend as the Tournament of Hearts kicks off.

 

When: Saturday February 18th/Sunday February 19th

Time: 3:00pm/8:00pm/10:30am/3:30pm/8:30pm

Channel: TSN

 

NHL Hockey: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks

 

 

 

 

The NHL continues to march towards the playoffs and the Trade Deadline with teams looking to find their way. As the season draws to a close teams begin to see where they stand in the playoff race that directly translates to the Trade Deadline. For teams out of the running they become trade deadline sellers as they begin to unload big contracts in order to prepare for the future. These sellers begin to prepare for next season as they look to free agency signings and draft picks for next year. The teams in the hunt become buyers as they look to add the final pieces to finish their playoff runs. Two of these buyers will face off in an all-Canadian matchup on Hockey Night in Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel out west to Vancouver to take on the Canucks this Saturday. The Maple Leafs are hanging on to the 8th spot in the East but have only won 1 in their last 5 games. The Leafs have had trouble finding a solid goaltending with both of their goalies not showing any signs of being a true number one. They have barely held on to a playoff spot to this point but are coming off of an overtime win in Edmonton and will be looking to get back their four losses to continue their hold on the 8th place spot. The Canucks are in the opposite position in the West as they have remained at the top of their division and are in a tight battle for the top spot in the Western Conference with the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks are playing well and are looking to beat the Leafs for the second time this year. As the season winds down every game becomes more important including this matchup of two Canadian clubs in battles for playoff spots.

 

When: Saturday February 18th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: CBC

 

NCAA Basketball: #8 Michigan State Spartans vs. Purdue Boilermakers

 

 

 

 

The NCAA Basketball season is fast approaching the season ending March Madness Tournament with few weeks left. This urgency makes every game important with one loss meaning the end of a long playoff run. The Michigan State Spartans will try to continue their run towards the tournament. Led by Draymond Green who leads the Spartans in points (15.0 ppg), Rebounds (10.5 rpg), Steals (1.4 spg), and blocks (1.0 bpg). Green has been the star of MSU as he has been their leader in putting them to the #8 spot. The strength of the Spartans is their defence though that has only allowed 58.6 points per game. They will take on a Big Ten opponent in the Purdue Boilermakers who are not ranked and do not look to be on their way to the March tournament. Even though they look to be out of it they will try to be the latest underdog story in the 2011-12 NCAA season. Purdue will take their 71.5 points per game average and their 17-9 record into the conference matchup as they hope to break through the great Spartan defence and spoil the party for MSU. If Purdue can pull off the win they will be the latest upset kings that have shown themselves in the last few weeks as anything can happen in the NCAA. The Spartans will try to prevent being the newest ranked team to be knocked down as they look instead to move up the rankings and prepare for the March Madness with few weeks left.

 

When: Sunday February 19th

Time: 1:00 pm

Channel: CBS

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