Tomorrow the biggest event of the weekend takes place in the land of the kiwi, as New Zealand plays France in the Rugby World Cup (Sunday, 2am, TSN).
The Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team can compare to the pressure that New Zealand rugby players are currently going through. They are trying to win the biggest tournament in their country’s number one sport on home soil. New Zealand has beaten France already in the tournament, as they won 37-17 on September 24.
Here are the other events I’ll be keeping an eye on:
Saturday–NHL–Nashville Predators @ Calgary Flames–Sportsnet–2pm–Both the Flames and Predators have got off to rather slow starts this season as they have identical 2-3-1 records. The Predators have looked completely listless in the first two games in the Western Canadian road trip, losing 3-1 to Edmonton where they only had 12 shots and 5-1 to Vancouver.
Saturday–CFL–British Columbia Lions @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats–TSN–5pm–The Lions (9-6) are looking for a remarkable ninth win in a row as they take on the playoff bound Tiger-Cats (7-8). Despite a losing record, the Tiger-Cats are more than capable of beating the Lions. They defeated the Lions 39-31 in Vancouver on July 22 in a game that saw quarterback Kevin Glenn pass for 334 yards, Chris Williams have 189 yards receiving and Avon Cobourne rush for 100 yards.
Saturday & Sunday–World Series–Game 3 and 4 –St. Louis Cardinals @ Texas Rangers–6pm–With the series tied at one after a pair of games in St. Louis, don’t be surprised to see many runs being scored this weekend at The Ballpark in Arlington. It’s not that the stadium is a huge hitter’s ballpark, I just don’t think the starting pitching will be that great. The Cardinals are going with Kyle Lohse who has a postseason earned run average of 7.45, while Rangers’ starter has an earned run average of 13.50 in his only playoff start at home. Tomorrow night Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Cardinals, who has a career ERA of 4.46, while Derek Holland gets the start for the Rangers, who has a playoff ERA of 5.27.
Saturday–NHL–New York Rangers @ Edmonton Oilers–CBC–8pm–The Oilers will try to get back in the win column after two tough one goal losses to the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild this week. At 2-2-2, the Oilers are currently one point back of Vancouver for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Rangers at 2-1-2, are getting point-per-game production from Brad Richards and brilliant goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist in the early going.
Sunday–NFL–Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions–FOX–11am–Two of the best teams in the NFC will battle in Motown. The interest in the Lions is currently skyrocketing thanks to a brilliant 5-1 start. But the 49ers were able to exploit the Lions’ weaknesses on both sides of the ball last week and don’t be surprised if the Falcons are able to do the same. The Falcons, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, are just too good of a team to drop to 3-4.
Sunday–NFL–Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings–FOX–2pm–The Packers are at 6-0, but haven’t had a great season defensively to date, where they only rank eighth in the NFL. Minnesota has some serious issues at quarterback however, and will start rookie Christian Ponder out of Florida State, who is replacing the ineffective Donovan McNabb. I don’t think Ponder should worry the Packers too much though.
Sunday–NFL–Pittsburgh Steelers @ Arizona Cardinals–Sportsnet–2pm–The Steelers (4-2) look to stay pace with the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) and Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) in the defensive-minded AFC North. James Farrior leads the Steelers with 42 tackles so far. Kevin Kolb (five touchdowns, six interceptions) has been a bit of a disappointment for the 1-4 Cardinals so far this season. He just hasn’t been able to redeliver the magic he displayed in Philadelphia.
Sunday–NFL–Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints–NBC–6pm–We all know the Colts would not be 0-6 right now if they had Peyton Manning. The Saints (4-2) are coming off a puzzling 26-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Let’s not kid ourselves. If the Saints don’t win Sunday night, I will eat broccoli at Christmas dinner.
Tags: arizona cardinals, atlanta falcons, avon cobourne, brad richards, british columbia lions, calgary flames, chris williams, christian ponder, detroit lions, Edmonton Oilers, green bay packers, hamilton tiger-cats, henrik lundqvist, indianapolis colts, james farrior, kevin glenn, matt ryan, minnesota vikings, nashville predators, new orleans saints, new york rangers, peyton manning, pittsburgh steelers, rugby world cup, st. louis cardinals, texas rangers, world series