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Canadiens @ Flames: Preview, start time, and how to watch – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Montreal Canadiens @ Calgary Flames

How to watch

Start time: 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live

After a hard-to-watch loss to the bottom-of-the-league Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, the Montreal Canadiens had to quickly abide by Taylor Swift’s wise words and shake it off as they got ready for their long seven-game road trip to close out 2019.

And shake it off they did. Their first opponent was the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night and, despite some questionable officiating that included a goal called back due to Artturi Lehkonen’s “goaltender interference,” the team banded together to start their trek on a winning note. Vancouver may have opened up the scoring in the first period, but it was Nick Cousins who got Montreal on the board in the second, and the power-play unit took it from there.

Let’s hope the Canadiens continue with confidence as they head to the Saddledome tonight to take on the Calgary Flames for the first time this season.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Flames
Canadiens Statistic Flames
16-12-6 Record 18-14-4
2-0-0 H2H Record (18-19) 0-2-0
53.7% (2nd) Corsi-for pct. 50.9% (10th)
3.12 (11th) Goals per game 2.58 (26th)
3.15 (22nd) Goals against per game 3.00 (15th)
21.7% (10th) PP% 17.2% (21st)
75.9% (27th) PK% 84.1% (7th)
W-W-W-L-W Form W-W-W-L-L

The Flames are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and are currently sitting fourth in the Pacific Division. Much like the Canucks did versus the Canadiens, the Flames started off on the right foot by finding the back of the net first on Tuesday night, but that was the one and only time.

Though Calgary had a rough start to the season, they eventually started to find their groove. Even during their last two losses they produced some great scoring chances, but were also up against some great goalies who put a stop to them. Leading point-getter Sean Monahan (10G, 18A) was held off the scoresheet in those two losses, while Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, who are right behind him with 27 points, managed just one point as well.

After head coach Bill Peters resigned on November 29 due to accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse with previous teams, assistant coach Geoff Ward stepped in as interim boss. It seems Ward brought a new style and better energy to the mix, because after the change the Flames went on a wild six-game winning streak.

The Flames have one thing going for them that the Canadiens don’t: no injuries. Well, they have one and he was placed on waivers on Wednesday — Austin Czarnik — who hasn’t suited up with the team since late October due to a lower-body injury. The Habs on the other hand have been missing the services of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete, Paul Byron, and Jonathan Drouin, but some of those players could be starting to make their way back in over the next few matches.

It’s usually a close contest when these two teams meet, with their last four matchups ending in a 3-2 score. Montreal had a season sweep over Calgary last year, winning both contests. Their winning streak over this team actually goes back even further to December 22, 2017 where they took home a 3-2 win as a Christmas present. Might as well bring the streak into another year while they’re at it.

Thanks to their victory over Vancouver, the Canadiens now sit in third place in the Atlantic Division once again. If they can build on their good start and keep their confidence up while on the road, hopefully they can hold on to that spot, or even inch a little higher.

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Sinclair to lead Canadian women’s team in her fourth Olympics

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Christine Sinclair, the all-time international goal-scoring record holder, was named to her fourth Olympic squad on Wednesday and will headline a Canadian roster at the Tokyo Games that features a mix of veterans and youth.

Led by Sinclair, whose 186 goals for her country are the most by a female or male soccer player worldwide, Canada won medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was the only nation to make the podium in both competitions.

“I am looking forward to doing whatever I can to help take this team back to the podium and make history again,” said Canadian captain Sinclair. “Our team is in a good spot, we are excited, we are hungry and we are ready to go.”

The 18-player roster features 12 members of the squad that competed at the 2016 Rio Games while a quintet including Vanessa Gilles, Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso, Adriana Leon, and Evelyne Viens will be making their Olympic debuts.

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan travelled to Rio in 2016 as an alternate.

Canada will kick off their Tokyo 2020 journey when they face Japan on July 21 and continue Group E play against Chile on July 24 and Britain on July 27.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Which of the Canadians Picked in the 2021 NFL Draft Will Thrive This Season?

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It was a good NFL Draft for Canadian players in 2021.

Some four stars from north of the border were selected by NFL franchises in the free agency pick ‘em, and that is tied as the highest number of Canadians drafted in the 85-year history of the event.

Of course, the hope is that these young talents are more than just filler and roster depth, but can any of the quartet make the breakthrough into the big time?

Here’s a look at which of the NFL’s newest Canadian additions can shine in 2021/22.

Jevon Holland

The defensive back was the number 36 pick in the Draft by the Miami Dolphins, who beat off a number of rivals in the hunt for the Coquitlam native.

A versatile defender, Holland is a former Jim Thorpe Award semi-finalist thanks to his exploits in the NCAA back in 2019 with the University of Oregon.

He sat out the 2020 campaign, but representatives from dozens of NFL teams were in town to watch Holland go through his paces at the Oregon Pro Day.

The 21-year-old is following in the footsteps of his father Robert, who turned out for the Detroit Lions, and he is expected to force his way into the starting line-up at the Dolphins. And, who knows, maybe Holland could go all the way in his first season, with Miami priced at +2500 in the Super Bowl 2022 American football odds.

Benjamin St-Juste

When you’re six foot three, 205 pounds and still able to run 40 yards in 4.51 seconds, it goes without saying that you have the physical credentials to succeed in the NFL.

Benjamin St-Juste is the man that can, and he will bolster the roster at a Washington Football Team that will be looking to improve upon their playoff showing in 2020.

The 23-year-old may only have been a third-round pick, but he comes with a burgeoning reputation thanks to a successful time at the University of Minnesota. An All-Big Ten special mention in 2019, more than 50 NFL recruitment personnel attended the college’s pro day – largely to catch a glimpse of St-Juste going through his paces.

Both Brian Gutekunst and Jon Robinson made the trip but, in the end, it was Washington who snapped up the powerhouse from the Draft.

Chuba Hubbard

The third Canadian to be drafted in 2021 was Chuba Hubbard, who became the first Canadian running back to be selected from the Draft in 25 years.

It’s the Carolina Panthers who have taken a chance on the 22-year-old and with his credentials, you can see why. Hubbard finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2019 after a stellar campaign – he served up 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, an NCAA best. He was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

While running backs are not the hottest of properties in the Draft, Hubbard provably has the talent to cross into the end zone with regularity – the Panthers might just have got their hands on an unheralded gem here.

With these three Canadians taking the step up to the NFL, the future of the sport north of the border looks in safe hands.

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

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Andy Murray‘s grasscourt return was cut short in brutal fashion at Queen’s Club as Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini dished out a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the former world number one on Thursday.

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.

Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.

Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.

Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.

He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.

Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.

“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.

“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.

(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

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