The 2012 Tim Horton’s Brier commences today from Saskatoon. Alberta will be represented this year by Kevin Koe who curled out of the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton in recent years before making the switch to the Glencoe Curling Club in Calgary for this season.
Koe’s opening game will be seen live tonight at 5:30pm on TSN against British Columbia’s Jim Cotter.
In my opinion there are four teams that will contend for the championship. Koe, the 2010 World Champion, will be joined by Glenn Howard of Ontario, the 2007 World Champion, Brad Gushue of Newfoundland, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games Champion, and Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario, who finished in third place at the 2010 Tim Horton’s Brier.
The field will not have Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, who won the 2011 World Curling Championship, and defeated Howard 8-6 in last year’s final. Stoughton failed to make the Manitoba Provincial Semi-Final in Dauphin, Manitoba this year.
The first televised game is Manitoba versus Quebec today at 12:30pm with draw times of 7:30am, 12:30pm and 5:30pm tomorrow.
Here are the other events I’ll be watching this weekend:
Saturday–NHL–Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens–5pm–CBC–In Randy Carlyle’s debut for the Maple Leafs, every game is crunch time now as Toronto is five points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul continue to have great seasons for Toronto offensively. At 68 points and 66 points respectively, they are both in the top ten in league scoring.
Saturday–NHL–Buffalo Sabres @ Vancouver Canucks–8pm–CBC–Don’t look now but the red hot Sabres have got themselves back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. This week goaltender Ryan Miller was unbelievable as he backstopped Buffalo to a 2-0 win over Anaheim and then shutout San Jose 1-0 the following night. Buffalo is currently four points back of Winnipeg for a playoff spot. Vancouver meanwhile, continues to lead the Western Conference with 90 points.
Sunday–NHL–Boston Bruins @ New York Rangers–10:30am–NBC–The top two teams in the Eastern Conference battle Sunday at Madison Square Garden. At 41-15-7, I don’t think many people expected the Rangers to have been as good as they have been. But they are getting great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and enough offensive production from Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan.
Sunday–NHL–Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings–2pm–WGN–Two playoff bound teams in the Western Conference will battle in Motown. The Blackhawks have now won two straight against Toronto and Ottawa after struggling for most of 2012. But they are having to play without captain Jonathan Toews who has been out since February 21 with an upper body injury. The Red Wings are one point back of Vancouver for first place in the Western Conference, and got a great team effort last night in a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Sunday–NHL–Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames–4pm–Sportsnet–In what could be considered the biggest game for the Flames this season, Calgary is currently four points back of the Dallas Stars for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dallas picked up a big two points on Calgary last night when they won 3-1 against Edmonton and Calgary lost 3-2 to Anaheim.
Sunday–NHL–Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals–5pm–TSN2–The Capitals are one point back of the Winnipeg Jets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers, who sit fifth in the East, lead the NHL with 209 goals scored. Claude Giroux is having an outstanding season where he is second in the NHL with 52 assists and third in the NHL with 75 points.
Tags: 2012 tim horton's brier, boston bruins, brad gushue, brad jacobs, brad richards, buffalo sabres, c;aude giroux, calgary flames, Chicago Blackhawks, dallas stars, detroit red wings, glenn howard, henrik lundqvist, joffrey lupul, kevin koe, marian gaborik, montreal canadiens, new york rangers, phil kessel, Philadelphia Flyers, randy carlyle, ryan callahan, ryan miller, toronto maple leafs, Vancouver Canucks, washington capitals