April 11th, 2019

#thegist of it is

We are overwhelmed with happiness thanks to the NHL playoffsthe Mastersthe NBA playoffs and the women’s world hockey championshipWe’re also saying goodbye to some NBA legends and are cringing at some history being made in the MLB.  

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About Last Night  

The GIST: If last night’s start to the NHL playoffs is any indication of what we can expect for the rest of the postseason, we are in for an amazing couple of months.
 
First, here are some scores: The Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3, the St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1, the NY Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime, the San Jose Sharks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2, and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 3-2.
 
And now here’s some drama: One outcome that we did NOT expect was the Blue Jackets defeating the Lightning. The Lightning finished first in the regular season and entered the playoffs as the Stanley Cup favourite. The fact that Columbus was down by 3, then came back with 4 unanswered goals, while playing in Tampa’s building, shows this isn’t going to be as easy for Tampa as most fans thought. You have to love the playoffs, truly anything can happen.
 
She’s so lucky, she’s a star: On Tuesday night, the 15 teams that didn’t make the NHL playoffs participated in the NHL draft lottery. If you’re wondering, “WTF is a draft lottery?”, it’s just to decide the order that teams will pick players for the 2019 draft.

  • Each team is given odds based on how they finished in the overall standings (worse teams have a better chance to get a high draft pick). Despite having only the third-best odds, the New Jersey Devils were awarded the first overall pick. Check out how the other teams did here. Colorado, (who is in this postseason) acquired its selection from the Ottawa Senators in the trade for Matt Duchene in November 2017.

So who are they going to pick?: They’ll likely be drafting the consensus No. 1, American Jack Hughes. Fun fact, Hughes’ brother, Quinn Hughes, was selected seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks last year. Nice genes.

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Dobby Has No Master, Dobby is a Free Elf

The GIST: The Masters, the most prestigious PGA Tour tournament of the season, tees off today.
 
Master has given Dobby a sock: Too many Harry Potter references? Never. Anyway, the Masters is the first major golf tournament of the season and is hosted at the historic Augusta National.
 
Who’s going to win?: Golf analysts are predicting that either American Tiger Woods (get #thegist on this cat here), Irishman Rory McIlroy, American Dustin Johnson (who, FYI, is engaged to Wayne Gretzky’s daughter Paulina) or Englishman Justin Rose will take home the green jacket.  
 
Special shout out: To Canadian Corey Conners. As we mentioned on Monday, Conners just qualified for the Masters on Sunday. He’s joined by Canadian and 2003 Masters champion (the only Canadian to ever win) Mike Weir.
 
We have your back: This tournament is a big deal and with its rich history, there’s a lot to know. But don’t fret, we’ve got your back. Check out The GIST’s Guide to the Masters here. Your wish is our command.

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Ya, We Love That Basketball

The GIST: Last night, the 2018-19 NBA regular season came to an end, which means the playoffs are finally upon us. What a time to be alive.
 
Who’s in?: Most notably, your Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs (former dino DeMar DeRozan’s new team) and defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. Here’s a lookat who made the cut.
 
Who’s out?: For the first time in 14 seasons (!!!), LeBron James is not in the playoffs after his LA Lakers had a season to forget. The Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron’s former squad who had appeared in four straight NBA Finals, are also out. How things can change in a year.
 
How are the Raptors expected to do?: Many are praying calling for the Raptors to make it to the NBA Finals. Thanks to offseason pick-ups of Kawhi (pronounced KAH-WHY) ‘The Claw’ Leonard and Danny Green, the late addition of big man Marc Gasol and the fact that LeBron (previously known as LeBronto) is out of the playoffs makes this team all but destined to go ALL. THE. WAY.

  • The Raps finished second in the Eastern Conference so are playing against the seventh place Orlando Magic in the first round. When these teams faced each other in the regular season, they each won two games. Still, the Raps should have no problem beating the Magic. Their biggest challenge on their way to the finals? The ‘Greek Freak’ and his Milwaukee Bucks.

So the Raps are expected to win?: Not quite. Maybe. Hopefully. Most bets are the Golden State Warriors to three-peat. That’s right, if the Warriors win this year, it will be their third title in a row, and fourth in five years. What, like it’s hard?
 
Players to watch: There are so many. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on Kyle Lowry and Kawhi (Raptors), Steph Curry (Warriors’ three-point king), James ‘The Beard’ Harden (Houston Rockets), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and of course, DeMar DeRozan (Spurs).

Everything Else

O’ Canada: After finishing second in Group A following the round-robin of the women’s world hockey championship, the Canadians are off to the quarter-finals against Germany at 9 a.m. ET.   

  • It’s very likely that Canada will win BUT, they are now without star captain Marie-Philip Poulin who reinjured her knee during Canada’s 5-1 rout of Russia on Monday. Fortunately, if when Canada makes it to the gold medal game, Poulin should be ready.
     

  • While Poulin’s off the ice, be sure to keep an eye out for forward Natalie Spooner. She put up an epic hat trick performance against Russia on Monday to bring her career national team goal tally to 50 (!!!).

Nightmare on Davis Street:Okay, we feel horrible for Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. On Monday, he set the MLB record forlongest hitless streak, going 0-for-49 dating back to September 14th of last year. And last night, things got worse as he extended his hitless streak to 0-for-50. Not the side of history you want to be on.

  • To make matters worse for the Orioles, Davis is less than halfway through a seven-year, $161-million US contract (because he used to be really good). It’s money he’ll keep making as long as he doesn’t retire, but how much is this level of humiliation really worth? 

Sweet redemption: ICYMI, the Virginia Cavaliers are your 2019 March Madness champions after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77 in anovertime thrilleron Monday. Virginia actually trailed with 14 seconds left when De’Andre Hunter nailed aclutch three-pointerto tie the game at 68 and send it to overtime. Then Virginia took over, scoring 11 unanswered points en route to the school’s first national title.

  • FYI: Last year, Virginia was seeded No. 1 and lost to No. 16 UMBC—the first time a No. 1 seed has ever lost in the first round. See, things can really change in a year.
     

  • In other basketball news, the WNBA had their draft last night and Canadian 21-year-old and Iowa State star Bridget Carleton was drafted 21st overall by the Connecticut Sun. Thatta girl!

Your daily cry…:is brought to you by the letter ‘B’, for Budweiser, purveyor of beer and commercials that make you weep. Their latest offering is a tribute to three-time NBA champ Dwyane Wade in his 16th and final NBA season. It’s amust watch. And on another Wade note,thisis also a must see.

  • Elsewhere in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki called it a career after 21 seasons, all of them with the Dallas Mavericks. Legend.
     

  • Meanwhile, former NBA Star and HIV survivor Magic Johnson randomly resigned as the LA Lakers president of basketball operations after his Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. It was a teary-eyed announcement as he didn’t let the team owner or general manager know that he was resigning before going to the press. Too many goodbyes.   

Your great read…: is courtesy of Utah Jazz star Kyle Korver, who opened up in a piece for The Players’ Tribune about his privileged place as a white man in the NBA, a league that is 75% people of colour. It’s raw, it’s honest and it’s worth your time.

What’s Up This Week

Today: Today is quite possibly the best day ever. Here’s what’s going down:
 
8:30 a.m. ET - The Masters begin! And Canadian Corey Conners tees things off bright ‘n’ early.
 
9 a.m. ET - Canada vs. Germany for the women’s world hockey championship quarter-finals.
 
7 p.m. ET - The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins kick off tonight’s NHL playoff action, followed by the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames (the Canadian team that has the best shot of winning the cup) at 10 p.m. ET.
 
Sunday: The women’s world hockey championship gold medal game (a likely rematch between Canada and the U.S.) goes down at 1 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on TSN.

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Sign me up!