March 4th, 2019

NY Islanders fans are snakesWe’re falling for Mitch MarnerOur Canadian women are killing it on the soccer pitchTFC surprisingly is tooCanada is winning on the slopesA woman made her-story on her snowboardA man got caught cheating… and we’re not talking about Tristan ThompsonWe’re calling it: LeBron James won’t be playing in this year’s NBA playoffsGet #thegist on MMA & UFCBuy your ticket to Thursday’s GIST Viewing PartySee what’s up this weekAnd, check out today’s IWD feature!

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Who's The Biggest Snake?  

The GIST: Tristan ThompsonNagini, or NY Islanders fans? It’s a tough call, but this week we have to say it’s the Islanders fans.
 
The Drama: On Thursday, Toronto Maple Leafs superstar John Tavares played his first game against the Islanders—his team from 2009-2018—in their arena since he signed with the Leafs as a free agent last summer. And the Islanders fans are still v hurt about him leaving. So hurt, in fact, that before the game they were burning Tavares jerseys and during the game they were booing him like crazy and chanting things like “@$$hole” and “we don’t need you.” They even threw plastic snakes onto the ice. How rude. And this rudeness somehow helped lead the Islanders to a 6-1 win.
 
The Redemption: Ugh poor Tavares, that got out of hand. The good news? On Saturday, Tavares returned to the #6ix to play the Buffalo Sabres. Not only did the Leafs win 5-2, but Leafs fans welcomed him back with a tear-inducing Standing O
 
Overwhelming Cuteness: Sorry. We also have to mention that we’re falling in love with Mitch Marner. *cue Bachelor “I think I’m falling in love with you” compilation*Have a look at this video of Marner making seven-year-old Hayden Foulon’s birthday dreams come true by giving her a big hug before the game. Foulon is currently battling leukemia. So sweet.

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Moving in The Right Direction

The GIST: The red and white are seeing success on the pitch thanks to their captains. “O Captain! My Captain!” indeed.
 
Over in Portugal: Our Canadian women are making us proud at the Algarve Cup. After tying Iceland in their first group stage game, they beat Scotland 1-0 (psssttt in soccer instead of “zero” you say “nil”) thanks to captain Christine Sinclair’s successful penalty shot. Sinclair has now scored 179 international goals, just five away from American Abby Wambach’s record. The record is so close we can feeeeel it.
 
What’s Next?: Well, the Algarve Cup doesn’t have your standard tournament structure. The Canadians are playing in a “ranking match” on Wednesday. This match will help to determine which team is the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked in each group. A team’s ranking affects which “placement match” they’ll be playing in. A placement match is where a team competes in the final game, third place game, fifth place game, etc. So, Wednesday’s game is a BFD. Grab some Portuguese custard tarts and buckle up for a big one!  
 
Toronto FC Fans Are Breathing a Sigh Of Relief: Because after being booted out of the CONCACAF Champions League in the first round, TFC won their MLS season opener 2-0 against the Philadelphia Union. And, captain Michael Bradley scored BOTH of those goals. This was v unexpected as Bradley hasn’t scored in over 80 matches and has never had a multi-goal game in his MLS career. As they say, there’s a first time for everything.

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Here for the Apres Ski

The GIST: 
Put simply, Canada slayed this moguls ski season. And as a result, we’ve finished atop the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) Moguls Nations Cup.
 
Sorry, The What?: Basically, skiers receive points throughout the season based on how well they do in races. The higher a skier finishes in the standings, the more points they receive. As a collective, the Canadian skiers logged more points than any other country. O’ Canada!
 
The King of the Slopes: A lot of Canada’s points came from mogul king Mikael Kingsbury, who also won the Crystal Globe. The Crystal Globe is awarded to the skier with the most points at the end of the season. You can kind of think of this trophy like a ‘Stanley Cup’ of moguls. It’s also his eighth (!!!) career win. Thatta boy!
 
Girls Who Shred: On Saturday, American Maddie Mastro became the first woman to land a double crippler in a women’s snowboarding halfpipe competition. Dunno WTF a double crippler is? Watch it here. The name of this trick totally makes sense. We would without a doubt be crippled after trying this trick.
 
Don’t Cheat: Okay, this is jokes. Last week, during a doping raid at the Nordic World Cup Ski Championships, police caught Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke LITERALLY MID-BLOOD TRANSFUSION. Like, c’mon man, didn’t you learn from Lance Armstrong?

GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know

- Remember our IWD feature on Canada’s only three-time multi-sport Olympian, Georgia Simmerling? Of course you do. Anyway, at the Track Cycling World Championships in Poland last week, Simmerling and her squad finished just out of the medals coming in fourth behind New Zealand. Close, but no cigar. Get ‘em next time!  
 
- PSA: for the first time in 14 years, it’s highly likely that LeBron James won’t be in the NBA playoffs. Shocking, we know. LeBron’s LA Lakers are currently sitting 10th in the Western Conference (the top eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs) and have a pretty tough schedule for the rest of the season. Karma is clearly working her magic on LeBron for ditching Cleveland.
 
- Watch out please, new meat coming through! The Ottawa Senators rebuild didn’t stop at trading away their top three players (Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Mark Stone). On Friday, the Sens also said “bye, bye, bye” to head coach Guy Boucher. Boucher has coached the Sens since 2016 and led the club to the Eastern Conference Final that season. Since then, things have gone kinda sour in Ottawa. In the meantime, the Sens have promoted Marc Crawford from assistant coach to their interim bench boss.
 
- This weekend UFC 235 (Ultimate Fighting Championship) took place with light heavyweight and welterweight fights taking centre stage. The most notable win was Jon Jones who retained his light heavyweight belt. Do you find MMA (mixed martial arts) a little bit confusing? Same. So, we decided to write a guide on it. Get the ins and outs of MMA here. You’re welcome.

What’s Up This Week

Right Now: It’s basically your LAST CHANCE to get your tickets to The GIST’s first-ever viewing party in Ottawa on THURSDAY! Join us to watch the Ottawa Senators take on the New York Islanders. Your $75 ticket includes dinner, a drink, pre-game commentary from our very own Ellen, meeting the Sens CMO Aimee Deziel (read our interview with her here), a swag bag AND watching the game in The GIST’s suite. Talk about bang for your buck! Get your ticket, and tickets for your friends and family, here.

Monday: The Leafs are travelling to Calgary to take on the Flames. Calgary is currently leading the Pacific Division so this is no easy game. You can catch the action at 9 p.m. ET.

Tuesday: Your Toronto Raptors are hosting the Houston Rockets at 8 p.m. ET. The Raps have slid to second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks so they have some ground to make up.  

All Week: The Tim Hortons Brier—pitting the best Canadian male (the Scotties was the women’s tournament) curlers against each other—started last Saturday in Brandon, Manitoba and finishes up next Sunday.

International Women's Day - Meet Liz Rose

Today’s IWD feature is none other than Canadian soccer defender, Shelina Zadorsky. Shelina won a bronze medal for Canada at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and plays full-time in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) for the Orlando Pride. And we certainly have a lot of pride for this Canadian superstar. Check out this sneak peek of our interview with Shelina and read her full interview here. Also find her taking over our GIST Instagram story today here.
 
Ellen at The GIST: Alright, we have some fun rapid fire questions for you... 
 
What’s something that you can’t live without? Oh my gosh definitely peanut butter and almond butter.
 
What’s your go-to work out? If I’m in the gym I love doing explosive lifts including single leg workouts. If I’m running I like doing running intervals.
 
Mia Hamm or Brandi Chastain? Mia Hamm
 
Oprah or Ellen? Ellen!
 
Peanut Butter or Jam? LOL like I said before it has to be peanut butter
 
Do you think the NWSL will ever make it’s way up to Canada? Yes, I really hope so!
 
Words you live by: Happiness, compassion and drive. And for the national team, we have a bit of a mantra. And I can’t tell you what it means, but they’re letters. The letters are TNT. *cue AC/DC’s TNT being stuck in your head all day*
 
It was so fun interviewing Shelina. Again, you can read the full interview here.

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