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We’re in the middle of January, but from now until Sunday, there’s plenty of summer, winter and fall sports waiting for you. Here is the guide:
Since we sent out our Wild Card Weekend preview on Wednesday, the big news is that star Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is officially out with a knee injury. That makes the Ravens a huge underdog heading into Sunday night’s game against Cincinnati. Miami is in a similar boat in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon after QB Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out with post-concussion issues. Saturday afternoon’s matchup between Seattle and rising NFC West champion San Francisco also looks like a mismatch.
The best contests should be the restless Los Angeles Chargers against the surging Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night, the uphill battle between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon and the Dallas Cowboys against Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
The top Canadian players to look for are Chargers receiver Josh Palmer (72 catches, three touchdowns this season) and Dolphins safety Jevon Holland (96 tackles and two interceptions as a team). NFL Coach of the Year candidate Brian Daboll of the Giants was born in Welland, Ont.
The best result of the weekend is that top-seeded Boston will host third-seeded Toronto on Saturday night. It could be tough for the Leafs with Auston Matthews missing the last two games due to injury and the Bruins are 19-1-3 on home ice. Boston hadn’t lost in the regular season at home this season until last night, when surprising Seattle snapped the streak for its seventh straight win.
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who is on pace for the first 150-point NHL season since Mario Lemieux 27 years ago, plays tonight in San Jose and Saturday in Vegas. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos needs one goal to reach 500 in his career as the Lightning visit St. Louis on Saturday night.
The disappointing Toronto Raptors (19-23) are riding their first three-game winning streak of the season after defeating lowly Charlotte (twice) and mediocre Portland. Toronto sits in 11th place in the East, one spot out of a play-in spot, as it prepares to host ninth-ranked Atlanta on Saturday night.
Canadian guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31 points per game – tied for third in the NBA in scoring with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo – as his Oklahoma City Thunder enter road games in Chicago tonight and Brooklyn on Sunday.
Canada’s Jamal Murray is averaging 18.4 points in his return from a devastating knee injury in April 2021. Murray and the West co-leading Denver Nuggets visit Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers tonight before hosting Orlando on Sunday. Murray’s teammate Nikola Jokic is racing for a third straight MVP award as the flamboyant big man is averaging a near triple-double.
The Australian Open starts on Sunday in Canadian time zones. We covered the first Grand Slam of the season in yesterday’s newsletter, but here are some notes from Coles:
Nine-time Aussie Open winner Novak Djokovic is back after being kicked out of the country last year for not being vaccinated. He needs one more Grand Slam title to match Rafael Nadal’s men’s record of 22, and they could meet in the final. Nadal is the top seed after world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew due to injury.
Iga Swiatek is the women’s favorite after winning eight tournaments, including two Slams, and continued her 37-match winning streak last year. She could help fill the void left by Serena Williams’ retirement from the sport last fall.
Seven Canadians compete in individual draws, led by No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 22-year-old won his first four ATP Tour titles last year, including three in a row in October, and led Canada to its first Davis Cup title. But he never reached a Grand Slam final. Felix starts against fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil late Sunday night/early Monday morning in Canadian time zones. No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov and unseeded Bianca Andreescu also play on Sunday.
2022-23 PGA Tour Season began in earnest last week in Hawaii, where it now continues with the Sony Open. Corey Conners, the top-ranked Canadian player, finished tied for 18th last week and placed as high as third at Sony.
The main events at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships kicked off this morning in Oshawa, Ont., with the women’s short program. Defending champion Madeline Schizas grabbed a comfortable lead while Lia Pereira, who also competes in the doubles, finished second. The dance event was underway at the time of our posting, with couples and men’s shorts coming later. Free skating is on Saturday. CBC Sports is streaming it all live here.
In our preview of the Canadian championships earlier this week, we noted that this is the last national championship for defending champion Keegan Messing, who is retiring at the end of the season. Meanwhile, his wife is due to give birth to their second child at home in Alaska on Saturday. Absent this week are Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who are Canada’s top medal contenders at this year’s world championships after winning the ice dance event at the prestigious Grand Prix Final last month. Gilles recently underwent appendectomy.
Mikaela Shiffrin is sitting out the women’s downhill and super-G races in Austria this weekend, which will keep her tied with fellow American Lindsey Vonn for the all-time women’s Alpine World Cup record of 82 wins.
The men are in Wengen, Switzerland for the classic Lauberhorn descent on Saturday. Olympic combined medalist Jack Crawford is Canada’s biggest threat to the podium. He sits fourth in the World Cup downhill standings after two podium finishes last month. Wengen also hosts a slalom on Sunday. All Alpine races this weekend are broadcast live by CBC Sports.
WATCH | Canadian Crawford wants to carry the momentum to Wengen:
The Grand Slam circuit continues with the Canadian Open in Camrose, Alta., where reigning Brier champion Brad Gushue and reigning Scotties champion Kerri Einarson suffered their first triple knockout losses last night.
Qualifiers for next month’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts are underway in a number of provinces and territories. CBC Sports is covering the British Columbia event tonight and this weekend.
This week’s World Cup stop in bobsleigh and skeleton is in Germany, where Canadian Mirela Rahneva finished fourth in today’s women’s skeleton race and remained third in the World Cup standings. Bobsleigh events are held on Saturdays and Sundays. CBC Sports is broadcasting them live.
For details on all the Winter Olympic sports you can watch live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app, CBC Gem and the CBC TV Network this weekend, check out the full broadcast and streaming schedule here.