Heading into the weekend, there is one particular statistic that stands out to me over all the others.
After eight days in the NHL’s regular season, the Edmonton Oilers are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the fewest goals allowed in the entire league! That’s right folks, the Oilers and Red Wings have only disallowed three goals each.
Oilers’ goaltenders Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin have actually only given up two regulation goals between them. Dubnyk gave up a softy to Kris Letang in the Oilers’ 2-1 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, while Khabibulin gave up a regulation goal to Matt Cullen in Edmonton’s 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
On Saturday night, the Oilers will entertain the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place. They will have a tough time containing Daniel and Henrik Sedin though, who have combined for 114 points in 123 games in their career versus the Oilers. Game time is 8pm and can be seen on CBC.
Here are the other events I’ll be keeping an eye on:
Saturday–CFL–Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Edmonton Eskimos–TSN–5pm–The Bombers at 9-5 are without a doubt the surprise team in the CFL this season and I think it is currently a slam dunk that head coach Paul LaPolice will be named coach of the year, regardless what happens the rest of the season. The Blue Bombers have one of the best defenses in the CFL, and are led by defensive back Jovon Johnson, who leads the CFL with six interceptions and defensive end Odell Willis who leads the CFL with 13 sacks. So basically, the Edmonton Eskimos’ offensive line will be significantly tested and need to give quarterback Ricky Ray time to make decisions in order to win. In their first meeting, the Bombers defeated the Eskimos (8-6) 28-16 on August 5. In that game, Winnipeg outscored Edmonton 16-2 in the second half.
Saturday–NHL–Calgary Flames @ Toronto Maple Leafs–CBC–5pm–The Flames (1-2) are coming off by far and away their most complete game of the season in a 4-1 win over Montreal. Left winger Alex Tanguay currently leads the team with four assists, while Rene Bourque of Lac La Biche, Alberta already has three goals. The Maple Leafs meanwhile have got spectacular goaltending from James Reimer, who shutout Montreal 2-0 in the season opener. Phil Kessel has three goals and two assists in the first two games.
Saturday–MLB–ALCS Game 6–Detroit Tigers @ Texas Rangers–FOX–6pm–The American League Championship Series now returns to Texas after the Tigers took two of three games from the Rangers in Detroit. Texas still leads the series 3-2. Despite only batting .212 in the postseason, Rangers’ outfielder Nelson Cruz has the most playoff home runs (5) and runs batted in (11). The pitching matchup in this key elimination game is Max Scherzer for Detroit and Derek Holland for Texas.
Sunday–NFL–Saint Louis Rams (0-4) @ Green Bay Packers (5-0)–TSN2–11am–The best and the worst teams in the NFL will battle at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers currently leads all quarterbacks with 14 touchdown passes and an unbelievable quarterback rating of 122.9. The Rams desperately need greater production from Steven Jackson to salvage their season. Jackson only has 68 yards rushing in his last two games combined.
Sunday–NFL–Buffalo Bills (4-1) @ New York Giants (3-2)–CBS–11am–Remarkably the Bills have scored the third most points this season in the NFL (164). Only Green Bay (173) and New England (165) have scored more. But if the Bills are going to beat the Giants, they are going to have to play better than they did in their last road game in Cincinnati, where the Bills lost 23-20, despite leading 17-3 at half time. Meanwhile, one of my favourite fantasy football players this season that I recently picked from the wire is wide receiver Victor Cruz, who had 161 yards receiving and a tremendous touchdown catch last week against Seattle.
Sunday–CFL–British Columbia Lions @ Saskatchewan Roughriders–TSN–2pm–The best and the worst team in the CFL West will battle it out at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium. The Lions (8-6) have won seven straight and are being very successful on both sides of the football. In their last meeting on September 24, the Lions won 42-5.
Sunday–MLB–NLCS Game 6–St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers–Sportsnet–2pm–If the Brewers are going to remain in the playoffs, they will desperately need a stronger performance in the postseason from Shawn Marcum. The Brewers’ starting pitcher has given up 12 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings to date in the playoffs. Marcum will also need better help from his defense than what Zack Greinke got in game five on Friday, when the Brewers committed four errors. The Cardinals will counter with Edwin Jackson. With a win, the Cardinals, who are leading 3-2 in the series, will return to the World Series for the first time since they won the Championship in 2006 over the Detroit Tigers.
Sunday–NFL–Minnesota Vikings (1-4) @ Chicago Bears (2-3)–NBC–This game looked like it would be a complete blowout a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m not so sure. The Vikings got a 122 yard performance and three touchdowns last week from Adrian Peterson in a 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears meanwhile have some serious issues. They couldn’t stop Jahvid Best (163 yards rushing) in their 24-13 loss to Detroit, and are benching two safeties–Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, adrian peterson, alex tanguay, british columbia lions, buffalo bills, calgary flames, chicago bears, daniel sedin, derek holland, detroit red wings, detroit tigers, devan dubnyk, Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Oilers, edwin jackson, green bay packers, henrik sedin, james reimer, jovon johnson, kris letang, matt cullen, max scherzer, milwaukee brewers, minnesota vikings, minnesota wild, nelson cruz, new york giants, nikolai khabibulin, odell willis, paul lapolice, phil kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins, rene bourque, Saskatchewan Roughriders, shawn marcum, st. louis cardinals, st. louis rams, steven jackson, texas rangers, toronto maple leafs, Vancouver Canucks, victor cruz, winnipeg blue bombers, zack grienke