In a new weekly Friday feature on the Independent Sports News, we will take a look at the sporting events that I will be watching on television each weekend. The following list are not all of the events, but a strong sample for the typical Canadian sports fanatic.
Saturday—NHL—Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators—Sportsnet One—4pm Pacific Time—In an intriguing Atlantic Division battle, the Lightning play the Senators. These two teams have something in common. They both came into the NHL the exact same season of 1992-93. In 86 games head-to-head over the last 24 years, the Senators have won 44 games and lost 32 games. Both teams have records of 3-1 in 2016-17 and are tied for second place in the division with the Boston Bruins.
Saturday—CFL—Edmonton Eskimos @ British Columbia Lions—TSN—4pm Pacific Time—The Edmonton Eskimos and British Columbia Lions are playoff bound but moving in opposite directions. The Eskimos (8-7) have won three straight, while the Lions (9-6) have lost back-to-back games against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Even though teams should try their very best to win, the prize of fourth place in the Western Division could be the highest at the moment. That is because the fourth place team in the West will cross over and play much weaker opponents in the Eastern Division in the CFL playoffs.
Saturday—MLB–NLCS—Game 6—Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs—Sportsnet–5pm Pacific Time–The Dodgers are on the brink of elimination following an 8-4 loss to the Cubs on Thursday night and trail the best out of seven series 3-2. Over the last two games, the Cubs have scored 18 runs after being shutout in games two and three. The Cubs will have a difficult task on their hands as they will face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has had an outstanding 2016 postseason after struggling in the playoffs prior to this year. If the Dodgers win, a seventh game will be played on Sunday evening (Sportsnet, 5pm). The winner of the series will play the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series starting Tuesday from Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Saturday—NHL—St. Louis Blues @ Calgary Flames—Sportsnet One—7pm Pacific Time—Both the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames have something in common this season—they have been unable to beat the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. The Blues enter the game with a record of 3-1-1, while the Flames are 1-3-1. Vladimir Tarasenko has got off to a strong offensive start with six points in five games. Even though he has shown strong signs of playmaking, he is a surprisingly -1 to start the year.
Sunday—NFL—New York Giants @ Los Angeles Rams—CTV—6:30am Pacific Time—For the second time this season there will be a National Football League game in London. However this game will be played at Twickenham Stadium, which is normally a rugby stadium and recently hosted the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and Australia. The Giants and Rams have identical 3-3 records. Even though the Giants are at the .500 mark, they are currently last in the NFC East.
Sunday—NFL—Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets—TSN2—10am Pacific Time—It has been a very disappointing season for the New York Jets, and things won’t get any easier as they face a Ravens team that has been respectable this season. Baltimore is 3-3 and the Jets are 1-5. The Ravens should have the edge here as the Jets were hammered 28-3 to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night and have to travel across the United States on a short week. The Jets rush defense was poor a week ago and could have a very difficult time stopping Ravens running back Terrance West.
Sunday—NFL—Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles—FOX–10am Pacific Time—Believe it or not but the Minnesota Vikings are the only team unbeaten to start the 2016 National Football League season. The Vikings have a perfect record of five wins and zero losses, and have given up the fewest points in the NFL with 63. The Eagles (3-2) defense has been solid this season too-especially at home where they have given up only 13 points in two games.
Sunday—NHL—Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets—Sportsnet—Noon Pacific Time—The 2016 Heritage Classic takes place Sunday from the Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The forecast for the game in the Manitoba capital is above Celsius, which will be approximately 40 degrees warmer since the last time the Oilers played a regular season game outdoors in 2003. Edmonton has got off to a great start to the season as they are 4-1, while the Jets are 2-2.
Sunday—NFL—Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals—NBC—5:30 Pacific Time—An intriguing NFC West Division matchup takes place in primetime on Sunday. The Cardinals seemed to have things back on track after a disappointing 1-3 start to the season where they lost to the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals are much better at home than on the road, but the Seahawks have traditionally have had great success in Arizona. Since the Seahawks moved from the AFC West to the NFC West in 2002, they actually have a winning record in games played in Phoenix, as they are 7-6.