Jeremy Freeborns Weekend Sports Preview

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The first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs are coming to an end and the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs are midway through. Here are the events I will be watching this weekend:

Saturday—NBA Playoffs—Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 4—Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks—Sportsnet One—12pm PT—The Toronto Raptors will have to bounce back after a terrible game three where they got off to a horrendous start and never bounced back. Khris Middleton led the Bucks attack with 20 points in a 104-77 onslaught. With the win, the Bucks lead the best out of series two games to one.

Saturday—NHL Playoffs—Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 5—St. Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild—Sportsnet—12pm PT—This series has actually been a bit puzzling for me because in my opinion the Wild have been the better team, but are currently down three games to one. The difference has been goaltending. Jake Allen has been playing like Dominik Hasek, and for the first three games of the series Devan Dubnyk was playing like Mike Palmateer. Things changed in game four as Dubnyk picked up the shutout and kept the Wild alive.

Saturday—FINA World Series Diving—Women’s 10m platform—CBC—2 pm PT—The world’s best divers are competing this weekend in Windsor, Ontario. On Saturday afternoon, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal, Quebec leads Team Canada. Benfeito won the bronze medal in the women’s 10m platform at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Benfeito’s major competitor will be reigning Olympic gold medalist Qian Ren of China.

Saturday—NHL Playoffs—Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 6—Montreal Canadiens @ New York Rangers—CBC—5pm PT—The momentum in the series between the Canadiens and Rangers has now shifted. The Rangers have now won the last two games of the series including game four when former Ottawa Senator Mika Zibanejad scored the game winner. With the Rangers leading the series 3-2, New York has a chance to eliminate Montreal on home ice.

Saturday—NHL Playoffs—Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 6—Edmonton Oilers @ San Jose Sharks—Sportsnet—7:30 pm PT—If game six of the Oilers and Sharks series is anything like game five, hockey fans will be in for a real treat. If game six of the Oilers and Sharks series is anything like game four, hockey fans might just find programming on alternative drama channels more interesting. Oilers fans have every right to wonder what team shows up Saturday. The success of the Oilers depends on the play of Cam Talbot. He has been great for most of the series, but was horrendous in game four in the Oilers 7-0 loss. They simply cannot afford another stinker if they hope to beat the Sharks.

Sunday—ATP Tennis Masters Series—Monte Carlo Masters—TSN2—5:30 am PT—Rafael Nadal, “the King of Clay” remarkably has a chance to win his tenth Monte Carlo Masters this weekend. Nadal, who is seeded fourth, is the highest ranked player left in the draw. In Saturday’s semi-finals, he is up against Belgium’s David Goffin. The other semi-final has Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas against France’s Lucas Pouille.

Sunday—NHL Playoffs—Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 6—Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins—Sportsnet—12pm PT—The Senators missed an opportunity to knock out the Bruins on Friday evening when Boston beat Ottawa 3-2 in overtime. With the win, the Bruins pulled within a game of the Senators, but still trail 3-2. In game five, the Bruins star was rookie Sean Kuraly, who scored his first two NHL career goals, including the overtime winner from David Backes and Charlie McAvoy.

Sunday—FINA World Series Diving—Women’s 3m springboard—www.cbcsports.ca—1 pm PT—World championship bronze medalist Jennifer Abel of Laval, Quebec will be going for gold this weekend in the final day of the 2017 FINA World Series of Diving. Abel, who has had great synchronized diving success in recent years, will be in tough however as the favourite will definitely be reigning Olympic gold medalist Tingmao Shi of China.

Sunday—FINA World Series Diving—Men’s 10m platform—www.cbcsports.ca—2 pm PT—Reigning Olympic gold medalist Chen Aisen of China leads the field in the men’s 10m platform diving World Series event. Other contenders include 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Yang Hao of China and 2009 world champion Tom Daley of Great Britain.

Sunday—NHL Playoffs— Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 6—Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs—Sportsnet—4pm PT—The Toronto Maple Leafs are living a do-or-die situation on Sunday as they trail the Capitals three games to two. Even if the Leafs lose however, it was a productive season as they exceeded expectations. The Capitals meanwhile will have their hands full against the Pittsburgh Penguins if they are fortunate to get by Toronto.

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