This is championship football weekend as the University of Laval Rouge et Or play the University of Western Mustangs in the Vanier Cup from Hamilton on Saturday and the Calgary Stampeders play the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup from Ottawa on Sunday.
In the Vanier Cup, the Mustangs have scored a ton of points lately. They have scored a minimum of 51 points in each of their last five games. However now they will play a Laval team known for its defense. In eight regular season games this year, the Rouge et Or only gave up 77 points. The game can be seen Saturday on Sportsnet 360 at 10am PT.
In the Grey Cup, the Stampeders will look to rebound after losing 39-33 to the Ottawa Red Blacks in overtime in last year’s Grey Cup. In an interesting situation, the Stampeders lost last year to Ottawa in Toronto, and now they are playing Toronto this year in Ottawa. Two Stampeders and two Argonauts came away with major CFL Awards on Thursday. Stampeders linebacker Alex Singleton was named best defensive player and running back Roy Finch was named top special teams player. Meanwhile Argonauts running back James Wilder Jr. was named rookie of the year and Marc Trestman was named coach of the year. The game can be seen Sunday on TSN at 3:30pm PT.
Here are the other events I will be watching in a jammed packed weekend:
Saturday—Skate America Figure Skating—www.cbcsports.ca—11am PT—Two-time Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel of Sudbury, Ontario and Eric Radford of Winnipeg, Manitoba will be looking to win their second International Skating Union Grand Prix of the season after winning Skate Canada in Regina last month. Their top competition in Lake Placid for Skate America will be reigning World Silver medalists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany.
Saturday—World Cup men’s downhill—CBC—11am PT—The first World Cup men’s downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta takes place this weekend an hour west of Calgary. Training runs were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday because of warm weather and rain. Last year the World Cups in Lake Louise for men’s alpine skiing was cancelled altogether. If the weather cooperates there will be a World Cup men’s super giant slalom on Sunday at 11am PT.
Saturday—WHL—Red Deer Rebels @ Calgary Hitmen—Sportsnet—12:30pm PT—In a Central Division matchup, both the Hitmen and Rebels have got off to slow starts this season. The Hitmen are 6-14-4 and the Rebels are 9-14-1. It has been a tough beginning for new Hitmen head coach Dallas Ferguson, who replaced Mark French in the offseason. However after being from Wainwright and coaching in Alaska the last nine years, Ferguson must love the Calgary chinooks.
Saturday—World Cup 4-man Bobsled—www.cbcsports.ca—3pm PT—In the third World Cup men’s four-man bobsled of the season, the Canadian teams will have home ice advantage in Whistler. Last weekend in Park City, Utah, Canadian pilot drivers Justin Kripps of Summerland, British Columbia and Chris Spring of Calgary, Alberta finished second and third respectively.
Saturday—NHL—Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs—CBC—4pm PT—Two teams currently playoff bound will play at the Air Canada Centre. In an interesting statistic, the Capitals leading scorer at the moment is not Alexander Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom, but Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has a team high 26 points. The Maple Leafs have lost their last two games to teams they should beat—4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday and 2-1 to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.
Saturday—NHL—New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators—CITY TV—4pm PT—The New York Islanders have been excellent at home this season (7-0-2), but only been ordinary on the road (5-7). On Wednesday in the Islanders’ 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, John Tavares of Mississauga, Ontario delivered exceptional stickhandling skills in getting by Flyers forward Sean Couturier, and then delivered a highlight reel backhand pass to Josh Bailey for the game winning goal. The Islanders would simply be nuts to trade Tavares right now.
Saturday—NHL—Calgary Flames @ Colorado Avalanche—CBC—7pm PT—There is no doubt that the fact that the Vegas Golden Knights are in first place in the Pacific Division at the moment cannot be overlooked. However, the fact that the Avalanche are three games above .500 after being 34 games below .500 last year cannot be overlooked either. The Flames are coming off a tight 1-0 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. Once again, Mike Smith of Kingston, Ontario was spectacular for the Flames as he made 40 saves on 41 Columbus shots to preserve Calgary a point.
Saturday—NHL—Winnipeg Jets @ San Jose Sharks—Sportsnet—7pm PT—In a very intriguing Western Conference matchup, the Jets are 13-5-3 and the Sharks are 11-8-1. Mark Scheifele of Kitchener, Ontario and Blake Wheeler have got off to great starts to the season as they have 25 points each and are a combined +13. The Sharks are getting great goaltending from Martin Jones of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Sharks have given up a NHL least 45 goals to start the year.
Sunday—NHL—Edmonton Oilers @ Boston Bruins—Sportsnet—2pm PT—For the second straight year, the Oilers will be in Boston on the same day as another major sporting event. Last year it was the gold medal game of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal and this year it is the Grey Cup. The Oilers have not played to top form this year and a major reason why lately could be because Connor McDavid has been sick and reportedly lost ten pounds.