This is one of the most special weekends in all of sports. It is a major weekend in curling and golf. In 2003 around this time it was a magical weekend in Canadian sports. On the same day 14 years ago (April 13 to be precise) Mike Weir of Sarnia, Ontario won the Masters and Randy Ferbey of Edmonton skipped Canada to a World Men’s Curling Championship in Winnipeg.
This year Brad Gushue of St. John’s has the capability of continuing Canada’s rich history when it comes to men’s curling. To date he is undefeated at the 2017 World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton. The playoffs go this weekend with the 3-4 game on Saturday afternoon (USA vs. Switzerland, TSN, 1pm PT), the semi-final Saturday evening (TSN, 6pm PT) and the gold medal game Sunday evening (TSN, 5 pm).
Meanwhile in Augusta, Charley Hoffman of San Diego, California currently has a three stroke lead on William McGirt of Lumberton, North Carolina. Hoffman is currently at -7. Canadians are well back of the leaders with the top Canadian being Adam Hadwin of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan who is ten strokes off the lead at +3 and is endangered of missing the cut. Round three is Saturday at 12pm PT and round four is Sunday at 11am PT (CBS).
Here are the other events I will be keeping an eye on this weekend.
Saturday & Sunday—MLB–Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays—Sportsnet—In an American League East division matchup, the Blue Jays close out their four game series this weekend at Tropicana Field. On Thursday, Toronto won their first game of the season over the Rays by a score of 5-2. Kendrys Morales, the new designated hitter in Toronto who is replacing Edwin Encarnacion, hit a grand slam in the third inning, while Marcus Stroman was very effective over six and a third innings. Saturday’s game is at 3 pm PT and Sunday’s game is at 10 am PT.
Saturday—NHL—Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs—CBC—4 pm PT—The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs with a win Saturday night against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. They are currently three points up on the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs will be pulling for the Montreal Canadiens on Friday as they host Tampa Bay. If the Maple Leafs cannot get the job done on Saturday, they will have a second chance on Sunday, as they will host the Columbus Blue Jackets (Sportsnet, 3pm PT).
Saturday—NHL—Nashville Predators @ Winnipeg Jets—CITY TV—4 pm PT—The Nashville Predators are playoff bound, but still have a chance to move from eighth to sixth in the conference. That will happen if they beat the Jets on Saturday, if the Blues lose to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday and the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday and if the Flames lose to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Saturday & Sunday—NHL–Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks—The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks close out their regular seasons this weekend in a back-to-back. Saturday’s game is in Vancouver on CBC (7 p.m. PT) and Sunday’s game is in Edmonton on Sportsnet (6 p.m. PT). The Oilers still have a chance to finish first in the Pacific Division. Edmonton will be first if they beat Vancouver twice and if the Los Angeles Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
Sunday–Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship Final—www.cbcsports.ca—2pm PT—Mixed doubles curling is now an Olympic event and Canada’s best are competing this weekend in Saskatoon for the national championship. Currently two teams are undefeated at four wins and zero losses. Saskatchewan’s Dustin Kalthoff and Marliese Kasner are tied in pool A with the very interesting duo of John Morris and Rachel Homan at four wins and zero losses. Other teams at 4-0 are Alberta’s Dana Ferguson and Brendan Bottcher and another notable duo of Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers.
Sunday—MLB—Miami Marlins @ New York Mets—TSN2—5 pm PT—One of baseball’s top pitchers will be on the mound for the Mets on Sunday night. Righthander Noah Syndergaard will be starting for New York for the second time this season. Despite not getting a decision Monday against the Atlanta Braves in a 6-0 New York win, Syndergaard was spectacular as he threw six shutout innings and had seven strikeouts. I wonder if the Blue Jays now regret trading Syndergaard to the Mets for R.A. Dickey.