What 2 Watch (March 9-11)

Spring is here and the sports world continues their transition period into the summer months as leagues begin to wind down and start up. This weekend the transition will be on full display as the winter gives way to the warmer weather. The NHL continues to march towards the playoffs with only a few weeks left as the Maple Leafs try to cling on to their small playoff hopes when they take on the Flyers. The CHL also continues to march towards the playoffs with two playoff bound teams facing off on Friday night Hockey. The NBA continues their second half as they get closer to the playoff race with the biggest rivalry in the league taking centre stage. NCAA basketball prepares for their showcase as Championship week concludes with a powerhouse conference looking to crown a new champion. Meanwhile curling will close out the last big Canadian tournament as the Tim Horton’s Brier finishes up with teams from every province looking to be crowned team Canada. As these sports wind down lacrosse continues in its second half as the Toronto Rock look to create some distance in the first place race in the East. With the warm weather creeping in summer sports begin to take the focus as new season begin. The MLS soccer season will kick off this weekend in a matchup of the youngest franchises in the MLS starting things off. Baseball will continue their preseason as Spring Training enters its second week with a matchup of two AL East teams looking to prove something this year. NASCAR also continues as the Kobalt 400 represents the fourth race in the season with racers getting into the routine and beginning the fight for first place. The PGA tour will continue to roll at the beginning of their season after a great Honda Classic last weekend as they continue to look towards the first major of the year. No matter how you feel about winter leaving and summer coming there will be plenty of sports to watch this weekend and The Sport Addiction is here to be your guide.


2012 Tim Horton’s Brier





The Tim Horton’s Brier is coming to a finish as the men’s teams look to become the new Team Canada by winning this weekend. After a week of games the Brier finishes up with the playoffs and the final game as the tournament winds down. Glenn Howard currently sits on top of the standings as he looks to make yet another run at the title. If he continues to win he will continue to add to his now record amount of games played in the brier as he broke his brother’s record of 174 games played in the time Horton’s Brier. Finishing the record-breaking tournament off with a win in the final game is the goal for Howard but there will be plenty of challengers to their top spot. This includes Kevin Koe who was sitting at the top of the heap after the first weekend but has fallen below Howard’s rink throughout the week. Koe will be looking to keep pace though as he is right behind Howard and the team from Ontario as he seems to be the biggest challenge. Rounding out the top teams will be Rob Fowler from Manitoba who has silently snuck in to the top of the standings. The last playoff spot will be a fight to the wire as Jamie Koe from Northwest Territories/Yukon will fight it out with Brad Jacobs rink from Northern Ontario. While these teams are looking towards the final rounds other teams will be going home soon. This includes Brad Gushue who finished a disappointing tournament that started with hopes of returning to the top of the standings. As they wind down the tournament the top teams prepare for their matches as Howard and Koe look to be on a collision course in the final rounds with a number of other teams trying to find their spot in the finals.


When: Friday March 9th-Sunday March 11th

Time: Various Times

Channel: TSN


CHL Hockey: Rimouski Oceanic vs. Shawinigan Cataractes





The CHL season is winding down as teams look to make their last playoff push and Friday Night Hockey is here to catch all of the action. This week they will feature the QMJHL as the Shawinigan Cataractes take on the Rimouski Oceanic this Friday. The QMJHL has essentially determined their playoff teams with fourteen teams clinching playoff spots and three teams fighting it out for the final two spots. Rimouski and Shawinigan will not be fighting for a playoff spot as they have both clinched their spots in the postseason. Shawinigan has done this by holding on to their top spot in the East division but will still be looking to clinch the division. As the only team who has yet to clinch first place in their division Shawinigan will need every win they can get to fight off the Quebec Remparts for the top spot. They will also be looking to catch up to the Saint John Seadogs for first place in the league as they are 5 points back. Anton Zlobin, 36 goals and 32 assists, is the offensive leader for the Cataractes but there is no doubt that their goalies are the stars. Gabriel Girard, 2.39 GAA and .914 SV%, and Alex Dubeau, 2.50 GAA and .907, are a great goaltending tandem that hopes to lead their team to a successful playoff run. Meanwhile the Rimouski Oceanic are safe in their postseason run as they will make an appearance but this week will be playing to close the gap in the division. They have a ways to go in the division as they sit in 4th place 7 points out of the third place spot in the East division. The biggest battle for the Oceanic will be for 6th place overall as they battle with the Halifax Mooseheads to get the better seeding. Led by Alex Belzile, 21 goals and 61 assists, and a host of others the Oceanic are a team that scores through committee. These two young teams will be looking for the same thing when they face off as they will try to move up the standings and start playing their best hockey as they prepare for the playoffs.


When: Friday March 9th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: Sportsnet


NLL Lacrosse: Toronto Rock vs. Philadelphia Wings




As the National Lacrosse League continues into their second half the Toronto Rock and Philadelphia Wings continue their battle for first place. The Eastern Conference has seen two powers emerge as the defending champion rock look to repeat this year and the Wings look to knock them off. After 8 games the two teams are locked together at 4-4 records and a 1-1 series record this year. The Rock are still led by Garrett Billings but a new goal scorer has emerged in the last few weeks. Stephan Leblanc has become the goals leader for the Rock after two straight 4 goal games in the last two weeks and he has received a lot of help from Billings who has the most assists and points for the Rock. Meanwhile the Wings are led by Kevin Crowley who has scored 24 goals for the team while Dan Dawson has taken the roll of leader by earning the lead in assists and points. Last year the Wings had a very unsuccessful season finishing last in the Eastern Division and missing the playoffs. They have turned things around this year as they are not head to head with the defending champions and will be looking to unseat the champs on Friday. The Rock will be trying to prevent this as they hope they can begin to pull away from the rest of the pack with a win against their biggest competition. The winner will take home the top spot for the time being while the loser will fall into second place and yet another competition for second place. With both teams playing well they will both be looking to be the beasts of the East and stop themselves from falling into second place as they will need to battle back for the top spot.


When: Friday March 9th

Time: 7:30 pm

Channel: TSN2


PGA Tour: World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship






The World Golf Championships PGA series continues this weekend but this time will have a much more traditional format. The usual tournament format will fit here as golfers continue to prepare for the Masters early next month. With only a few tournaments left before the big one everyone will be playing this weekend. The majority of the big names will be in the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship at TPC Blue monster in Florida. This event will be even more exciting than usual this weekend as the Honda Classic last weekend may have seen the start to a major story line for the rest of the Tour. Last weekend saw one of the first big tournaments take place with the Honda Classic and saw a battle brew throughout the 4 rounds. By the last round on Sunday it seemed clear that Rory McIlroy would win the tournament and continue the losing streak of Tiger Woods. Then Woods stepped up and looked like his old self as he made an amazing comeback in the final round and put the pressure on McIlroy. When all was set and done McIlroy emerged the winner and took the #1 spot on the PGA Tour but the biggest story might have been the return of Tiger. The fans will see if Tiger’s return to winning and playing well is for real as he will look to break his US losing streak at the Cadillac Championship. The biggest thing to watch this season could just be a battle between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for the top spot on the Tour. This battle will enter its second stanza this weekend as both Tiger and McIlroy look for the win with McIlroy trying to continue his run at #1 and Tiger looking to knock him off and regain his winning fire. The focus will be on these two in the final rounds but you never know what could happen as everyone looks for a win with only a few weeks until the Masters.


When: Saturday March 10th/Sunday March 11th

Time: 2:00pm/3:00pm

Channel: NBC/TSN2/TSN


MLS Soccer: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact






As the summer approaches the soccer season in North America begins as Major League Soccer kicks off their regular season this weekend. Kicking off the regular season will be a matchup of two of the three Canadian teams as the two most recent franchises look to open the season with a bang. The Vancouver Whitecaps entered the MLS last year to some great fanfare. The Whitecaps already had a following as well with the team being formed earlier as an amateur club but only becoming professional in 2011 with their inclusion in MLS. Of course as with most professional expansion teams the Whitecaps had their struggles in their inaugural season with the MLS. Finishing in 9th place in the West and 189th overall last year they could not make the playoffs. This year they hope to improve on their performance and have gotten off to a great start winning the Disney Pro Soccer Classic preseason tournament against their Canadian rivals Toronto FC. This year the Whitecaps have made some changes in order to improve their team for the sophomore season. By adding a few key parts like Lee Young-Pyo and Sebastien Le Toux the Whitecaps hope to improve on their 9th place finish last year. They will take on the newest addition to the MLS as the Montreal Impact will take on the Whitecaps in their first professional game in the MLS. The Impact had a much similar path to professional status as the Whitecaps. They had been an amateur club for years before being announced as the newest team in the MLS last year. As an expansion team the Impact will be boasting a new and unproven roster and will have many questions leading in to the season. The focus as they built the team seemed to be defence as they built what could be a very strong defence but lack a powerful offence. The questions will look to be answered in this game though as the fans get their first look at the new team and will find out how the team looks on the fly. These teams are both new to the pro ranks as Vancouver will have only one year more experience but both teams will be looking to make an impact as they open up their MLS seasons.


When: Saturday March 10th

Time: 6:00 pm

Channel: TSN


NHL Hockey: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers






The NHL continues its sprint to the playoffs as teams get closer and closer to clinching their spot in the postseason. For some teams the fight is nearly over as they sit in a playoff spot and need only a few wins to guarantee themselves a playoff spot this year. For others it is not as simple as they sit outside of the playoffs and need to win have a shot at making it. This is where the two teams on Hockey Night in Canada this weekend as the Toronto Maple Leafs face off against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Leafs are on the outside looking in right now after a February lull that stretched much too long. With 9 straight losses the Leafs were unable to keep a hold on the 8th and final playoff spot and have sunk to 12th in the East. They began to turn things around last Saturday with a new head coach and what looked like new life as they beat the Montreal Canadiens. Of course the Canadiens are not a big challenge and the Leafs will need to step up their game as they take on a much better team in the Flyers. With new coach Randy Carlyle behind the bench the leafsa re hoping for a miracle as they try to make up a big deficit in the playoff race. Meanwhile their opponent will be the Philadelphia flyers who have had a good year but would like to continue to improve heading into the playoffs. The Flyers sit in 5th place just outside of the top half of the standings where they hope to be come April. They will try to continue their strong play this Saturday by beating the Leafs and taking some momentum into the playoffs. The flyers do not seem in danger of losing their spot and could be playing a little more relaxed while the Leafs will be playing with desperation and that mix could add up to a great game. With so much on the line for the Leafs this game will be a must win while the Flyers look to play spoilers.


When: Saturday March 10th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: CBC


NCAA Basketball: Atlantic Coast Conference Champ




As the NCAA Basketball season comes to a close the championship week begins as teams look to push their way to the March Madness tournament. With selection Monday fast approaching teams start to look for their shot at the championship tournament. One of the best ways to earn a spot in the tournament is to win your conference championship which makes championship week all the more important. This weekend will see the end of most of the conference tournaments as the top teams in the nation fight it out for their shot at their berth in the tournament. One of the more intriguing tournaments this year will be the Atlantic Coast Conference as it is home to two of the top teams in the nation. The Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tarheels have been two of the most legendary programs in the past years with Duke taking the spotlight in recent years thanks to Coach K who became the winningest coach in NCAA history this year. Duke will be ranked #2 in this tournament, they are ranked #6 in the NCAA, and the expectation is that they will take on the #1 ranked, #4 overall, UNC Tarheels. Of course there are plenty of other challengers including #3 Florida State University, #17 overall, and #4 Virginia, unranked in the AP Top 25. With the tournament starting on Friday there are still a number of teams that could cause an upset in the tournament. The top 4 will be awaiting the winners of the first round as the bottom 8 look to cause an upset as the underdogs before the big tournament even starts. With so much talent in one conference the ACC finals promises to be a great game no matter who is involved when the tournament is finished. Whoever makes their way out of this tournament will also be a good bet to make a run at the final four. If it is not Duke or UNC than the team that beats them will be just as dangerous for beating two of the top teams in the conference and they will test this in the big tournament. As the tournament progresses the teams will be looking to Sunday in hopes that they can win the title and take a spot in the big tournament that will start next week.


When: Sunday March 11th

Time: 1:00pm

Channel: The Score


MLB Preseason: Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles






Spring Training is underway as the MLB prepares for the beginning of their season in April and teams look to find some new talent. As Spring Training progresses teams are beginning to find out who will make the big club and who will be sent to the minors. This weekend two AL East teams will take a look at their teams as the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles continue an all-important preseason. The Boston Red Sox began the preseason with a heavy load to bear as they became known for the biggest collapse in MLB history. AS the season came to an end last year the Red Sox looked to be sure bets to make the playoffs sitting comfortably ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Then they starting losing almost every game in the last month allowing the Rays to come back in the last day of the season and kick them out of the postseason. With the disappointing finish frustration rose and news surfaced that the players had sat in the dugout drinking and eating instead of paying attention to the game. With all of this building up over the offseason the Red Sox also lost some key parts to their team including the management team, Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, team captain Jason Varitek, and closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Red Sox have something to prove this year and it all starts in spring training as they look to recover from the torrid offseason. Meanwhile the Orioles have been on the opposite end of the spectrum as they have not been able to earn a winning season for years. The Orioles have been the punching bag of the AL East but they hope to change all of that this season. With their young talent beginning to mature the O’s are hoping to give their fans a reason to come back to the ball park. With spring training underway both teams begin to build their hopes for the future but only one will walk out a winner this Saturday as both teams start their road to redemption.


When: Sunday March 11th

Time: 1:00 pm

Channel: Sportsnet


NASCAR Racing: Kobalt Tools 400




The NASCAR season can officially get underway this weekend as the first two races are in the books but a lot remains to be answered. The Daytona 500 officially kicks off the Sprint Cup season but is always considered a race were anyone can win and a race that proves nothing. The Subway Fresh Fit 500 is the first race that begins to prove something but still it is the beginning of the race year where the drivers and teams still work out the kinks. This weekend at the Kobalt 400 these kinks will continue to be worked out but trends begin to form as everyone begins to get into the routine. Last week Denny Hamlin took home the win in what many consider to be a statement that he is ready to compete again this year. Hamilin will continue to try and prove this point in Las Vegas as he will try to keep his early lead in the Sprint Cup standings. Meanwhile Tony Stewart will be looking to recover from mechanical problems that forced to not finish last week. Stewart will try to climb back in to the race with a win this weekend in Vegas. Another story to watch will be Carl Edwards who in a surprising twist was at the top of the standings last year yet failed to win a race. Always finishing near the top Edwards was able to match the points of the leaders in the Sprint Cup. This weekend will mark the one year anniversary of Edwards’ losing streak as his last win was at the 2011 Kobalt 400. He will be trying to break that streak with another win at the Kobalt 400 this year as he looks to begin to climb up the rankings. There will be anumber of other races looking for their first win this year as well with Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, and Dale Earnhart Jr. rounding out the top of the Sprint Cup Standings and all looking for their first win this season. As the kinks still get worked out the Kobalt 400 could be anybody’s race but racers will be looking to get on a roll early in the season and this weekend could be their start.


When: Sunday March 11th

Time: 3:00 pm

Channel: TSN2


NBA Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics




With just under two months left in the compact NBA season teams are beginning to think about the playoffs. Two teams that will likely make yet another appearance in the playoffs will be the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The interconference rivalry between these two teams is considered one of the best if not the best rivalry in the NBA. Meeting for a record 12 times in the NBA finals this rivalry was created like all of the best rivalries in sports as two great teams continued to dominate the NBA but could test each other in the finals. The back and forth matchups of these two teams is the stuff of legends as they have given rise to some of the best stories in the NBA. Two of these legends took over the rivalry for a number of years as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird took over the NBA for years and made this rivalry even more intense. The rivalry died down for years after that with the Lakers taking the lead as they began to win championships and Boston began to fall behind. The addition of the big three in Boston and the emergence of Rajon Rondo has put a fire back into this rivalry in the last few years. The fire is back and with both teams sitting in 2nd place in their divisions they will be looking for a win to help them in the division race. The Celtics are an aging team as Kevin Garnett has begun to show his age. Luckily for the Celtics they still have some great young talent in Rajon Rondo who is leading the team with 18.4 points per game this year. The Lakers are also an aging team but their superstar Kobe Bryant has not been showing any signs of slowing down even after suffering a broken nose in the All-star game. Bryant has continued to lead the Lakers while wearing a face guard as he has averaged 28.7 points per game this year. As both of these powerhouses look towards the playoffs they will test each other this weekend in hopes that they see each other again in the finals.


When: Sunday March 11th

Time: 3:30 pm

Channel: ABC/CHCH TV

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