April 15th, 2019

#thegist of it is

The cat came backThe NHL playoffs have been shockingDon’t stress about the Toronto Raptors...yetThe women’s world hockey championship finished in dramatic fashionSee what’s up this week.

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The Cat is Officially Back!  

The GIST: Yesterday, in what may go down as the most epic and special comeback in North American sports history, Tiger Woods won the Masters with a 13 under parcumulative score.
 
Why this win is so special: Tiger came surging onto the golf scene as a fresh-faced teenager and immediately dominated the field winning 14 major tournaments between 1997 and 2008. Tiger made golf exciting. He was young, athletic, charismatic and not white. He made golf accessible and inspired many to play the game. Everyone loved Tiger.
 
But then…: From infidelity and divorce, to a DUI, to countless back and knee surgeries, Tiger went through a lengthy, and mostly self-induced, rough patch that started back in 2009. Those that used to obsess over Tiger questioned their love for him, many sponsors dropped him and it didn’t look like we would ever see the “old Tiger” again.
 
Fast-forward to 2018: And the cat finally looked like his old self again. But a more mature version. A version that apologized for his transgressions (up to you if you forgave him or not), that kept his emotions in check, and that looked like he was actually enjoying golf again.

  • At the end of last season, his comeback was well on its way when he won the Tour Championship. But still, the question remained: “does Tiger have what it takes to win a major?”

Turns out he does:And that’s why this win is so special. Against all odds, he’s battled back. It’s been 14 years (!!!) since he won his last Masters and 11 years (!!!) since he won his last major. Whether you’re a Tiger fan, golf fan, sports fan or none of the above, the personal growth and resilience he’s shown deserves some applause.

  • Tiger won his first Masters at 21 years old back in 1997. Now, at 43, he’s won his fifth green jacket and is showing no signs of slowing down.

But wait, there’s more: This win marked Tiger’s fifth Masters title. The only person who has won more Masters than Tiger is legend Jack Nicklaus at six. This win also marked Tiger’s 15th major tournament title. Yet again, the only player who has won more is Nicklaus at 18.
 
What else is there to say?: Love or hate Tiger, yesterday’s win made us all feel something (watch this Nike commercial and tell us your eyes don’t start to water). And that’s what’s so beautiful about sports, and the game of golf. In a world that’s obsessed with social media, keeping your inbox at zero, and watching mindless reality TV (we’re guilty of all), sports are one of the last things on earth that make us actually feel something, and feel something together.
 

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Want to Get Dirty, It's About Time for My Arrival

The GIST: The first round of the NHL playoffs so far has had more unexpected plot twists than the last season of Game of Thrones.
 
Why?: Because the Tampa Bay Lightning, the best team in the league throughout the regular season and who many predicted to win the Stanley Cup, is down three games to none (!!!) to the Columbus Blue Jackets who just snuck into the playoffs after placing eighth in the East.

  • Because the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that’s made it into the playoffs every year since 2006-07 and won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and ‘17, is down three games to none to the New York Islanders, a team that didn’t make the playoffs the last two years and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1983.
     

  • And, the odds of coming back from a three-game deficit are very poor. The chances of a team coming back are only 1 in 45 as only four teams in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs have successfully done it. Yikes.
     

  • Yet again, this why we love sports. This is why we love the playoffs. On any given day, truly ANYTHING can happen.

Getting Dirty: Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins series is tied up at one game a-piece. But, during the Leafs’ 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Saturday, things got unnecessarily dirty when Leafs’ forward Nazem Kadri cross-checked Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk to the side of the head in retaliation for DeBrusk’s big hit on Patrick Marleau.

  • An illegal shot to an opponent's head is a major no-no and Kadri was given a cross checking major (five-minute penalty as opposed to two) and a game misconduct (he was ejected from the game). 

Déjà Vu: What’s incredibly annoying about this stupid play is that making poor retaliatory decisions is nothing new to Kadri. In last year’s playoffs, Kadri was suspended for three games for a dirty hit on the Bruins’ Tommy Wingels.

  • It’s like this guy never learns. Throughout his career, he’s been suspended four times, each involving a hit to another player’s head. *rolls eyes*

What next?: Kadri has been offered an in-person hearing, which gives the NHL the option of suspending him for up to six games or more. So, it’s likely Kadri won’t see the ice for the rest of this series.

  • While we’re all for players “protecting” one another, Kadri and his poor decision-making has gone too far. It’s a team game and not having him play puts a major hole in the Leafs lineup. Nazem, if you’re reading this, we’re disappointed.

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I'll Even Put My Basketball Under the Pillow

The GIST: The NBA playoffs tipped off on Saturday. Here’s #thegist of what you need to know:
 
They’ve got the magic: The Orlando Magic channeled their inner Harry Potter and put a spell on the Toronto Raptors beating them 104-101 in game one. One Raptor who was particularly affected by the Magic’s spell was point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry played 34-minutes and scored no points. None, nada, zero, zilch.
 
So, should I be worried?: Not yet. The Raps are notoriously bad in game ones (2-14), but they, and Lowry, often bounce back. Historically, Lowry has averaged a very impressive 17 points-per-game in the playoffs once he shakes off the first game jitters. The good news coming out of game one? Kawhi Leonard was spectacular.
 
Elsewhere: The back-to-back reigning champions looked incredible beating the LA Clippers 121-104 on Saturday night. While Warriors star Kevin Durant was ejected in the fourth quarter thanks to Clippers Pat Beverley annoying the heck out of him, Stephen Curry was as cool as a cucumber scoring 38 points including eight three-pointers.
 
Shout-out: To former Raptor DeMar DeRozan and his San Antonio Spurs on coming out of the gates strong upsetting the Denver McNuggets 101-96. DeRozan may not be a Raptor anymore, but he still has a soft spot in our hearts.

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How you feel when you lose your AirPods case...

The GIST: Upset. ICYMI the Canadian women’s hockey team lost 4-2 to host team Finland in the world championship semi-final on Saturday marking the first time in world championship history that Canada didn’t play in the title game. Fortunately, our girls bounced back and demolished Russia 7-0 in the bronze medal game.
 
Who ended up winning?: The U.S.A. beat Finland in a controversial 2-1 in overtime yesterday to win their fifth straight world championship. Talk about domination.
 
Why controversial?: Because Finland actually scored first in overtime. They thought they won. They celebrated. The home crowd went wild. BUT THEN, the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference. Have a look at the no-goal for yourself here.

  • We think that call could have gone either way. The U.S.A., of course, then went on to win. Talk about heartbreak.

The bigger picture: Although we all wanted to see a Canada vs. U.S.A. final match, having another country in the final (and almost win) is a big deal for women’s hockey. It shows that the game is growing around the world and that it’s no longer just a two-nation sport. Who run the world?

What’s Up This Week

Tonight: The NHL & NBA playoffs continue! Over in the ‘chel Toronto is hosting Boston and Carolina is hosting Washington at 7 p.m. ET, Dallas is hosting Nashville at 9:30 p.m. ET and Colorado is hosting the Flames at 10 p.m. ET. Get the rest of the week’s schedule here.
 
Over in the NBA you can watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 8 p.m. ET and the LA Clippers against the Golden State Warriors at 9 p.m. ET.
 
Tuesday: The Raptors are back on the hard court hosting the Orlando Magic at 8 p.m. ET. Let’s hope the Magic’s magic starts to wear off.
 
Wednesday: The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) kicked off (literally) yesterday. There are no Canadian teams in the NWSL, but there are a lot of Canadian players.


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