For the second consecutive season the Pittsburgh Penguins have the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. After their 6-0 thrashing over the Nashville Predators on Thursday, the Penguins lead the best out of seven series three games to two. If the Penguins happen to win on Sunday, they will do something that neither team has been able to do in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals—that is win on the road.
If Pittsburgh does win the Stanley Cup, voters will have a very tough choice regarding who wins the Conn Smythe Trophy. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have each won the Conn Smythe Trophy before and have a chance to win it again. Crosby leads the Penguins with 19 postseason assists, while Malkin leads the Penguins with 28 playoff points. Other candidates include Jake Guentzel, who at 22 years old, has 13 postseason goals as a rookie, and goaltender Matt Murray, who has a goals against average of 1.87 and two shutouts in ten playoff games. The Penguins can win the Stanley Cup Sunday evening on NBC and CBC at 5pm Pacific.
Here are the other events I will be watching this weekend:
Saturday—Tennis—French Open Women’s Final—NBC—6am PT—For the first time ever a Latvian is in the final of a major singles tennis tournament. Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko has beaten some huge names along the way en route to her finals match against the favourite and third ranked Simona Halep of Romania. They include Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, former French Open finalist Samantha Stosur of Australia, two-time U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and two-time French Open semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.
Saturday—World Volleyball League—Canada vs. Bulgaria—www.cbcsports.ca—10:40am PT—Team Canada has a significant test on Saturday in World Volleyball League action from Varna, Bulgaria. The Canadian men’s team will hope to bounce back after a tough four set loss to Brazil on Friday. Both Bulgaria and Canada have identical records of two wins and two losses. Bulgaria meanwhile had a very impressive five set win over Poland on Friday.
Saturday—LPGA Manulife Financial Classic—third and fourth rounds—Golf Channel—12pm PT—The LPGA is in Canada this weekend for the sixth annual Manulife Financial Classic. This is the third straight year the event is taking place at the Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario. The current leader is Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea. Kim is at -12 and leads Perrine Delacour of France and Lindy Duncan of the United States by a stroke.
Saturday—Equestrian—RBC Grand Prix—CBC—1pm PT—The first high profile equestrian event at Spruce Meadows takes place this weekend in south Calgary. Canada will once again be led by superstars Eric Lamaze and Ian Millar. The defending champion is Conor Swail of Ireland.
Saturday—MLB—Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox—FOX—4pm PT—In a key American League matchup, the Boston Red Sox host the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. Both the Red Sox and Tigers are in contention for the division lead. The Red Sox are in second place in the American League East and trail the New York Yankees by three games. The Tigers are in third place in the American League Central and trail the Minnesota Twins by two and a half games.
Saturday—Auto Racing IndyCar—Rainguard Water Sealers 600—Sportsnet 360—5pm PT—The longest IndyCar event of the 2017 season takes place in primetime under the lights in Dallas on Saturday. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ontario is currently in 10th place in the 2017 IndyCar standings. Last weekend was huge for Graham Rahal of the United States as he won back-to-back races in Detroit. The current leader is Scott Dixon of New Zealand with 303 points.
Saturday—NLL Champion’s Cup—Georgia Swarm @ Saskatchewan Rush—Twitter—6:30pm PT—The Georgia Swarm can win their first National Lacrosse League title with a victory over the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday. The Swarm lead the best out of three series one game to none after beating the Rush last week 18-14 in Duluth, Georgia. The Rush are trying to win their third consecutive Champion’s Cup. They beat the Buffalo Bandits last season and in 2015 as the Edmonton Rush, they beat the Toronto Rock.
Sunday—Tennis—French Open Men’s Final—NBC—6am PT—Quite simply you will never see a better tennis player ever on clay. Rafael Nadal of Spain is the King of Clay for a reason and on Sunday he has a chance to win a remarkable tenth French Open. His opponent will be Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland. Wawrinka beat Andy Murray of Great Britain in five gruelling sets on Friday to reach the final. Nadal has the advantage when it comes to energy level as he had no problems knocking out Austrian Dominic Thiem in Friday’s other semi-final.
Sunday—World Volleyball League—Canada vs. Poland—www.cbcsports.ca—6:40am PT—Team Canada closes out this weekend in the World Volleyball League with a game against the powerful Poles. Poland has beaten two very strong nations so far in the World Volleyball League. Last week in Pesaro, Italy, they beat the dynamic Brazilians and Italians. Poland is looking to rebound from a disappointing quarterfinal loss to the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Sunday—Auto Racing Formula One—Canadian Grand Prix—NBC—11am PT—The seventh stop of the 2017 Formula One season takes place on Sunday from Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It has been a great year so far for Ferrari and Mercedes as they each have three victories. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany has won three times this year (Australia, Bahrain and Monaco). Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton has won in China and Spain, while Finland’s Valtteri Botas won in Russia. The fact that Vettel has three wins in 2017 is interesting as they had zero wins as a team in 2016.