Morning Coffee: Maple Leafs arrive atop NHL standings – TSN
It wasn’t long after the TSN EDGE officially launched that our TSN Hockey analyst Mike Johnson was first referred to as “Mystic Mike.”
On Tuesday night, he reminded us all how he earned that nickname.
Auston Matthews to record over 4.5 shots on goal – CHECK. Toronto Maple Leafs to win in regulation – CHECK. Tampa Bay Lightning to win in regulation – CHECK.
Mystic Mike went a perfect 3-0 with the picks that he revealed on the Leafs on TSN broadcast before puck drop.
Shout out to everyone who took advantage and tailed him on another winning night.
If only it was always that easy for the rest of us!
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021.
Maple Leafs arrive atop NHL standings
The Maple Leafs (-315) delivered as the biggest favourite on Tuesday night’s NHL board.
Matthews recorded a goal and an assist as Toronto jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period.
He added another goal, his 17th of the season, late in the second in a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Matthews is up to 17 goals in 24 games this season. He’s four back of Leon Draisaitl for the NHL lead.
As of this morning, Draisaitl remains the favourite to win the Rocket Richard Trophy at +150. Alex Ovechkin, who has 20 goals in 26 games, is the second choice at +350. Matthews is the third choice to win the Rocket at +500.
With the win, the Maple Leafs improved to 11-2-1 over their past 14 games to climb into a tie with the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals for first place in the NHL standings.
As of this morning, Toronto is the third choice to win the Presidents’ Trophy at +600, behind only Florida (+420) and the Colorado Avalanche (+550).
The Maple Leafs are also the third choice to win the Eastern Conference at +500, behind the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, which are currently co-favourites to win the East at +470.
Toronto is +210 to win the Atlantic Division. Only Florida (+140) has shorter odds.
Next up for the Maple Leafs is a date with the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s win was the lone bright spot for Canadian NHL teams on Tuesday night, as the other five Canadian teams in action all lost.
Tomas Hertl recorded a hat trick as the San Jose (+125) erased a 3-1 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3.
The Minnesota Wild (+105) beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 for their seventh straight win.
The Lightning (-245) rallied with two goals in the third period to beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in their first meeting since the Stanley Cup Final.
NHL favourites went 7-3 on Tuesday night. The over also went 7-3.
A perfect sweep for NBA favourites
NBA favourites went 3-0 on Wednesday night.
LeBron James went for 30 points, five assists and four rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers (-3) beat the Boston Celtics 117-102 on Tuesday night.
The Lakers have won three of four, with games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder coming up next.
RJ Barrett scored a game-high 32 points to lead the New York Knicks (-1) to a 121-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant scored 24 points, James Harden had 23 points, and the Brooklyn Nets (-1.5) beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-99.
Countdown to the 108th Grey Cup continues
The countdown to the Grey Cup continues with some interesting line movement.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened as a 4.5-point favourite for Sunday’s championship game.
On Tuesday, we saw that number drop as low as -1.5 at one spot, with some varying movement across the board.
As of this morning, the Blue Bombers are a consensus 3.5-point favourite, with the total set at 44.5.
Our coverage of the 108th Grey Cup will continue throughout the week with the season finale of The Prop Masters, the CFL Spotlight and more right here at TSN EDGE.
Perhaps we will test Mystic Mike’s range and ask for his Grey Cup prediction.
Blue Bombers, Tiger-Cats find roles reversed ahead of Grey Cup rematch from 2019 – CBC Sports
Head coaches Orlondo Steinauer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Mike O’Shea of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will again be on opposite sidelines at the Grey Cup game.
Hamilton will have home-field advantage Sunday when it faces Winnipeg at a sold-out Tim Hortons Field. The Blue Bombers come in as defending champion after downing the Ticats 33-12 in the 2019 Grey Cup.
This time around, the roles are certainly reversed.
This season, Winnipeg (CFL-best 11-3 record) was certainly the class of the league with two of its three losses coming after it had clinched first in the West Division. Hamilton (8-6) finished second in the East Division behind the Toronto Argonauts (9-5).
Steinauer and O’Shea definitely have a long history together.
WATCH | Winnipeg fans await highly anticipated 2019 Grey Cup rematch:
They were teammates in Toronto (2001-08), O’Shea a hard-nosed middle linebacker and Steinauer a versatile performer in the secondary. They often spent time together evaluating game film as part of their preparations.
O’Shea and Steinauer won a Grey Cup as players with Toronto in ’04 before adding another as Argos assistant coaches in 2012.
O’Shea, 51, from North Bay, Ont., is in his seventh season as Winnipeg’s head coach. He’s a finalist for the CFL’s coach of the year honour for the first time.
Ryan Dinwiddie, who completed his rookie year as Toronto’s head coach, is the East nominee.
Steinauer, a 48-year-old native of Seattle, is in his second season as Hamilton’s head coach. He was the CFL’s top coach in 2019.
WATCH | Ticats to play 108th Grey Cup on home soil vs. Blue Bombers:
Hamilton and Winnipeg met just once this season. The Bombers began their title defence with a 19-6 home win over the Ticats to kick off the CFL’s resumption of play.
The league didn’t hold a 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the two teams that began the ’21 campaign will now close it out.
Ticats look to avenge 2019 loss
Hamilton comes into the Grey Cup having won six of its last seven games. And the Ticats’ defence has been solid in the playoffs, anchoring wins over Montreal (23-12) and Toronto (27-19) in the East semifinal and final, respectively.
Hamilton registered six sacks and five turnovers versus the Alouettes while holding CFL rushing leader William Stanback to 29 yards on 12 carries. On Sunday, the Ticats didn’t allow a touchdown as Toronto’s scoring consisted of six field goals and a single.
Twice in the first quarter, Toronto drove inside the Hamilton five-yard line and each time had to settle for a field goal. Ticats quarterback Dane Evans also stripped Argos’ defender Shaq Richardson of the ball at the visitors’ 25-yard line that prevented the Double Blue from adding to a 12-0 advantage.
Evans was also instrumental in Hamilton’s win over Toronto. He relieved starter Jeremiah Masoli in the second quarter and finished 16-of-16 passing for 249 yards and a TD.
Evans also ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Ticats became the first team to secure a home Grey Cup berth since the ’13 Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Hamilton will attempt to earn its first Grey Cup crown at home since 1972. That year, standout Ticats defensive lineman Angelo Mosca capped his illustrious CFL career by hoisting the hallowed trophy with teammate Garney Henley before a partisan Ivor Wynne Stadium gathering.
The legendary Mosca, who was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987, died Nov. 6 at age 84 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.
Two years ago, Winnipeg native Andrew Harris put an exclamation mark on the Bombers’ championship season. He was named Grey Cup MVP and top Canadian after rushing for 134 yards and a TD on 18 carries while adding five catches for 35 yards and a touchdown against Hamilton.
On Sunday, Harris ran for 136 yards and a TD as Winnipeg dispatched the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-17 in the West Division final despite committing six turnovers. The game was Harris’s first since Oct. 15 due to a knee injury.
Williams not on January's Australian Open entry list – TSN
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Not long after Serena Williams’ name was absent from the entry list for the Australian Open, she confirmed the obvious: the seven-time champion won’t play the 2022 edition of the season-opening major in January.
The 40-year-old Williams hasn’t played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right hamstring injury and her ranking has slipped to No. 41. She won the last of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, and was beaten in the semifinals this year by Naomi Osaka in straight sets.
The Australian Open’s website Wednesday said the seven-time women’s singles champion would not compete in Melbourne “following advice from her medical team.”
“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” Williams told the website. “Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”
Novak Djokovic was on the men’s entry list at No. 1 in a further indication that he’ll be playing at Melbourne Park beginning Jan. 17 despite Australia’s strict regulations requiring all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Djokovic has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months, although he was included last week on the Serbian team for the ATP Cup which starts Jan. 1 in Sydney.
The nine-time Australian Open champion is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal is also entered for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 17, but Federer is skipping the tournament as he continues his recovery from surgery.
Daniil Medvedev, who ended Djokovic’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam with a victory in the U.S. Open final, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev are listed above No. 6 Nadal, who is not playing for Spain at the ATP Cup.
Ash Barty tops the women’s entry list and will continue her quest to end a long drought for Australian women at the tournament. No Australian woman has won the singles title since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
On Monday, Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, said she will take a mental break from tennis and sit out the start of next season, including the Australian Open.
More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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