Shipping up to Boston
The GIST: The Stanley Cup finals are all tied up at three games apiece after the Boston Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 5–1 last night to force a Game 7.
What’s next?: Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday. Outside of the deadly combination of Nutella and peanut butter, nothing, we repeat, NOTHING, is more special than Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The St. Louis Blues are in search of their franchise’s FIRST EVER Stanley Cup, while the Bruins are on the hunt for their seventh.
After eight months of hockey, the winner will be decided by one game. Take a minute to soak that in — one 60-minute game will settle who lifts what’s widely regarded as the hardest trophy to win in sports, the Stanley Cup. Oh baby, let’s get ready to rumble!
Tonight is the night!
The GIST: After beating the Golden State Warriors 105–92 in Game 4 on Friday to go up three games to one in the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors have a chance to WIN THEIR FIRST NBA FINALS TONIGHT! SOMEBODY PINCH US!
Tonight could define history: The beautiful game of pro basketball finally made its way to Canada in 1995. And let’s be honest, it took some time for us hockey-adoring Canadians to welcome basketball with open arms, and it took American basketball players some time to actually want to play in Canada (I mean, it is cold and we do have to pay more taxes). But, 24 years later, all the highs and lows look to have been worth it. *knocks on wood a bajillion times*
What makes this story all the more exciting is that the Raps are playing against a dynasty that has made five consecutive finals appearances and have won three championships in the last four years.
To show how much of a BFD this game is, some die hard Raps fans have been lined up since Friday night — OVER THREE DAYS before Game 5 — to score a spot to watch the game in Jurassic Park. Hope they remembered to pack sunscreen.
Things to know: Warriors’ two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant (aka KD) practised for the first time yesterday since straining his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. It’s still pretty doubtful that KD will play in tonight’s game but it shows the Warriors recognize it’s desperate times, and if they want a shot at winning the title, they’ll have to pull out all the stops.
Meanwhile, after taking a nasty elbow to the face and receiving seven stitches and losing a tooth on Friday, Fred VanVleet (Sr.) will be playing in Game 5. Freddy — tough like a good ol’ Canadian hockey player.
Join in the fun: Tonight we’re hosting a GISTer Facebook Messenger chat throughout the game. That’s right, we want to talk to you (and provide some fun commentary throughout the game), and we want you to have an opportunity to chat with other GISTers. We promise, it’s going to be awesome. Sign up to be part of the fun.
Oui Oui, Mon Chérie
The GIST: The French Open (aka Roland-Garros) — the second Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year — came to an end yesterday with Rafael “King of Clay” Nadal winning his record-extending 12th (!!!) French Open title and Australia’s Ashleigh Barty winning her first-ever Grand Slam.
Deets on the men’s final: It was a rematch of the 2018 French Open Final, between the No. 2 world-ranked Nadal and No. 4 world-ranked Dominic Thiem (pronounced THEE-EM). And just like last year, Nadal came out on top, beating Thiem 6–3, 7–5, 6–1, 6–1. Can you say déjà vu?
It’s Nadal’s third-straight French Open championship and 18th Grand Slam title. Insane. With this victory, he’s only two Grand Slam wins behind Roger Federer (who he beat in the semifinals) and five behind Serena Williams (a record that will be v. hard to beat).
Over on the women’s side: No. 8 world-ranked Barty was taking on 19-year-old and No. 38 ranked Czech Marketa Vondrousova. Barty dominated, winning 6–1, 6–3 in straight sets.
Fun fact: Barty was a teenage tennis sensation, but she stopped playing tennis to try her hand at cricket for a while. Thank goodness she came back.
Yet again, this win demonstrates why women’s tennis is so awesome. Compared to men’s tennis that is largely dominated by the top three players (Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic), the women’s field is pretty wide open and creates some wild finishes.
Vive le France
The GIST: The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off (literally) on Friday, and the first three days of action have not disappointed. Here’s #thegist of what you need to know:
Meanwhile, Brazil started off with a bang, dominating Jamaica 3–0 yesterday. Thirty-four-year-old Cristiane (yes, she just goes by Cristiane, no last name) scored a hat-trick for Brazil and set a record as the oldest player, male or female, to ever score a hat-trick in the World Cup. Age — it’s just a number.
Canada plays its first game against Cameroon today at 3 p.m. ET. Friendly reminder to sign up to receive a pre-game GIST email with all the deets you need to know about each of Canada’s games.
Check out all the other scores and schedules here.
Off the pitch: We just want to take a second to pump up women’s soccer, because that’s what best friends are for, right? In 2015, the Women’s World Cup had 750 million viewers. This year? They’re aiming for 1 billion.
And the total prize fund for this year’s tournament is $30M, with the winners receiving $4M — over double what it was in 2015. It’s still 10 times less than what the men’s tournament received last year, but, hey, progress is progress!
Poutine, Maple Syrup and Golf?
The GIST: Yesterday, at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Irishman Rory McIlroy earned his 16th PGA tour title after winning the RBC Canadian Open with a 22-under par score.
Sunday funday: McIlroy went into Sunday with a share of the lead, but he played one of the best rounds of his life. No, seriously though. He tied his career best PGA round, shooting a 61 (par was 70) for the day, and his seven-shot victory is the largest margin at the Canadian Open since 1952. Mind-blowing.
Despite being Irish, Rory was a fan-fave, with tournament-goers chanting, “RORY, RORY,” throughout the entire day...that might be because Rory was spotted cheering for the Raps at Game 2.
Speaking of the Raptors, fans were also chanting, “LET’S GO RAPTORS,” throughout the tournament. We’re not kidding.
The Canadians: As much as the focus was on Rory, our Canadians played well in The Hammer. Most notably, Adam Hadwin placed sixth and Mackenzie Hughes 14th. O Canada indeed.
What’s Up This Week?
Monday: Today we have the pleasure of watching not one, but two amazing games that you probably don’t need a reminder about.
First, watch our #CANWNT play their first FIFA Women’s World Cup game at 3 p.m. ET vs. Cameroon. And remember to subscribe to our free pre-game newsletter to get #thegist on all of Canada’s games this tournament.
Next, it’s the most important basketball game in Canada’s history. The Raptors host the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a chance to win the championship at home. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET. Click here to join our GISTer chat fun.
Wednesday: The Boston Bruins are hosting the St. Louis Blues at 8 p.m. ET for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Buckle up.