Week 17 in the CFL was full of surprises and upsets, but after the dust settled, the playoff picture was a little clearer. The first game of the week was closer than anyone had expected to see as the last time the Stamps played Hamilton, Calgary walked away with a 60-1 victory. This time it looked like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were going to force overtime. Until a late pass interference call moved the Stamps into field goal range for Rene Paredes to hit the game winner with no time left on the clock. The loss put Hamilton out of the playoffs in the East with a 4-11 record. The second game of the Friday night doubleheader saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders blow a 12-point lead with less than three minutes to play. The Ottawa RedBlacks came out with a 33-32 victory after a wildly entertaining game. The BC Lions were hoping for a comeback of their own but despite two TD’s in the final two minutes, the Lions fell to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 26-20. Winnipeg’s win kept them in the hunt for first place in the West as they have an 11-4 record while the first place Stamps are 13-1-1 with three weeks left to play. The final game of the week once again came down to the wire as a touchdown with 57 seconds left in the game put the Edmonton Eskimos on top 30-27 over the Toronto Argonauts. So with Montreal and Hamilton officially out of playoff contention that means fourth place in the West will cross over to play either Toronto or Ottawa in the Eastern Semi-Finals. It was a tough week for my picks as they went 1-3 on the week, dropping my record to 44-22-1 on the season. Winning picks for week 18 are Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Hamilton.
In the MLB Playoffs, the New York Yankees fought back from a 2-0 series deficit to take the series 3-2 with scores of 1-0, 7-3, and 5-2 in the final three games. They now find themselves behind in the series 2-0 once again as they are playing the Houston Astros in the ALCS. The Astros had defeated Boston 3-1 in the ALDS. In the National League the LA Dodgers have yet to lose a game these playoffs after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 in the NLDS and currently have a 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. The Cubs were coming off a well fought 3-2 series win over the Washington Nationals.
The first full week of the NHL is in the books and I don’t think it has gone how anyone expected. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights started off their inaugural season 3-0, the best start ever by a first-year team. Another surprise is the New Jersey Devils who currently have a 4-1 record after a terrible season last year. Even the Colorado Avalanche are looking solid at 4-2 after one of the worst seasons in NHL history last year. Alexander Ovechkin has returned to his hot scoring pace after an off-year last season. He scored 7 goals in his first two games of this season and currently has 9 goals and 10 points through 6 games. Some surprises in the other direction are the Montreal Canadiens as they sit at 1-3-1 and Carey Price does not look like himself. Price is sporting a 3.45 goals against average and a save percentage of .885. Maybe the biggest surprise of all in this early NHL season would be the Edmonton Oilers. After an opening night show was put on by Conner McDavid scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Calgary, the Oilers haven’t looked good. Losing three in a row to Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Ottawa, with each loss getting worse (3-2, 5-2, 6-1). However, the season is still very young and there is lots of time for teams to rise or fall throughout the season.