- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game1 hr ago
VANCOUVER - Despite the number of dignitaries on the dais (and the resultant number of speeches), a Davis Cup draw comes down to one simple thing: the drawing of one name out of the silver bowl.
From that, the entire schedule for the three-day tie is determined.
The name drawn was Japan's Tatsuma Ito, their No. 2 singles player. That meant Ito would play Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic in the first rubber Friday, followed by No. 1 Japanese Kei Nishikori against No. 2 Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
Saturday is the doubles; the first rubber on Sunday is always a No. 1 vs. No. 1 clash, and the fifth and potentially tiebreaking rubber always comes to No. 2 vs. No. 2.
Here's how it went, along with a sampling of some of the players' comments afterwards.
The players do a pretty good job not looking bored, even though they probably are.
Later on Thursday, with Pospisil and Raonic done for the day, the rest of the squad along with practice partners Filip Peliwo and Adil Shamasdin hit the court at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Centre for a little practice - and a little fun.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game8 hrs ago
VANCOUVER – In a perfect world, Vasek Pospisil vs. Kei Nishikori would have been first up on Friday to allow the No. 2 Canadian maximum recovery time before Saturday's crucial doubles.
But that's Davis Cup.
In the end, Milos Raonic will kick things off at 2 p.m. PST against Japan's Tatsuma Ito, as the Canadian Davis Cup squad looks to kick off a potentially deep run in the 2015 World Group with a first-round victory over Japan.
Raonic is a heavy favorite in that match. The second singles on Friday will see Pospisil take on Nishikori, currently at a career-best No. 4 in the world.
As well as Raonic and Nishikori know each other, Nishikori and Pospisil have never met.
"I will have to study some more," Nishikori said after the official draw, held at the lovely Cecil Green Park House on the campus of the University of British Columbia.
- Don Landry at Eh Game10 hrs ago
Down the line, from Calgary, Glenn Howard's voice sounds like his throat is made of sandpaper. Not the fine grade, either. The kind you'd use to pull varnish from a floor. But, it's familiar in a couple of ways; It sounds enough like the voice of the man I've interviewed often. It also sounds like pretty much anyone you would talk to after they've spent a few long, yet satisfying days and nights at The Brier as a fan, not as a player. Raspy, weary, happy.
“You can probably tell from my voice that I’ve had the full fan experience," says Howard, who did have to clear his throat a few times or so during a five minute conversation. We all know that feeling.
"I discovered this really big building across the parking lot... I think its called “The Patch,” he says, voice cracking as well as wise cracking. "There’s a lot of fun to be had in there.”
The 2015 Brier is giving the four-time champion a very different kind of experience. Free of the shackles of the responsibilities of a player, the 52 year old skip is taking things in as a fan. “I’ve had the time of my life," he says, enthusiastically. "I’ve had an absolute ball.”
- Neate Sager at Eh Game15 hrs ago
The stakes for the OUA final four might not seem overly high: No. 1-ranked Carleton, No. 2 and host Ottawa, No. 3 Ryerson and No. 5 Windsor all reconvening at next week's CIS Final 8 in Toronto would seem like a slam dunk.
In reality, it goes a little deeper, since one of the top four Canadian university men's basketball teams still active is going to go 0-2 this weekend and have its fate fall into the hands of the CIS seeding committee. There is a tendency to want the Final 8 field to be balanced nationally. Last season, the at-large berth went to Canada West. Windsor Lancers coach Chris Oliver, whose team draws Ottawa in Friday's early semifinal at Montpetit Hall (6 p.m. ET, OUA.tv), believes his team is in a must-win situation. Windsor was left out of the nationals each of the previous two years after losing the OUA bronze-medal game.
(VIDEO) Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock pulls off what looks like the shot of the Brier. Then, Brad Gushue one ups himDon Landry at Eh Game1 day ago
Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock might just have earned himself 'shot of the week,' at the 2015 Brier.
(UPDATE: Just a few minutes after I posted this blog, Newfoundland & Labrador's Brad Gushue added his own nominee for 'shot of the week,' with an amazing game-winner versus Alberta. You can see that below the video of Laycock's shot)
In the seventh end of Wednesday afternoon's game versus Brad Jacobs and Northern Ontario, Laycock's team was in trouble. His 'get out of jail card' came in the form of a very difficult shot, where he may have been hoping to pull off a double take out. Instead, what he got was a quadruple take out, bringing on an uproarious response from the crowd at Calgary's Saddledome. Have a look:
- Chris Zelkovich at Eh Game1 day ago
Human nature being what it is, TSN will be remembered longer for airing that slanderous tweet than it will for what it accomplished on Monday.
But make no mistake about it. Outside of possibly helping rewrite the online libel and slander laws, TSN accomplished a rather significant feat during its NHL trade deadline day coverage. Despite having no national NHL presence, despite facing the multi-headed hydra that is Rogers, TSN easily dominated the most-watched hockey gabfest in the land. In fact, it wasn't even close.
Over nine hours of coverage on a Monday morning and afternoon, when most people are supposedly working, TSN averaged 206,000 viewers per minute. In itself, that's not a huge number -- but over nine hours at a time of day when getting more than 60,000 viewers is considered success -- that's amazing.
And despite Rogers' all-encompassing NHL presence, it could muster only a 76,000 average in that period.
True, TSN's audience was 13 per cent lower than it was last year, but that can be attributed to a rather dull Monday of dealings. Much of the excitement was sapped by some big blockbusters the previous week. Monday was pretty much an anti-climax.
- Ian Denomme at Eh Game1 day ago
DUNEDIN, Fla. – It seems there isn’t enough hyperbole when it comes to describing a knuckleball. The elusive pitch is now so rare and so unpredictable that even those who know it best are at a loss to properly describe it, or its actions.
"Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly as it's floating around in the air?" Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin asked recently. "I wish I could put a camera on my mask or something for people to see exactly what the ball's doing.”
Martin, the Blue Jays’ prized free-agent acquisition this offseason, is in the process of learning to catch a knuckleball. Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey is the only player left in the major leagues whose bread-and-butter pitch is the knuckler. The trick pitch, as it’s sometimes described, helped revitalize his struggling career in his late 30s and turned him into an All-Star, and 2012 Cy Young Award winner.
- Don Landry at Eh Game1 day ago
That there would be a dogfight for a playoff spot was expected. That there would be a dogfight for two playoff spots was not ruled out. There might even be a scrap for three spots, with only one team - Northern Ontario - looking home and cooled out as the 2015 Brier scooches past the midway point.
Brad Jacobs' team from Sault Ste. Marie is the focal point of this Brier, in more than just one way. There's their red-hot performance on the ice and also the little matter of a contact with an opponent (please don't call it "broomgate." In fact, can we all agree that it is long, long past the time where we should have decided that simply adding the suffix 'gate' to a word is lazy and not at all clever any more?).
- Justin Robertson at Eh Game1 day ago
Records continue to break at the World Cup. Within the last week we’ve seen South Africa smash a World Cup record of 408 against the West Indies, only to eclipse that effort with a 411 against Ireland. Proteas batsmen AB de Villiers also made a record fastest 150 from 64 balls against the West Indies.
Australia made a record 417 against Afghanistan during their 275-run win Tuesday (a record: highest winning margin for Australia) including Glenn Maxwell’s fastest 50 by an Australian at a World Cup (New Zealand’s McCullum has the record with 18 balls also achieved at this World Cup) and David Warner’s record-breaking 178 (133). It was the fifth highest score by an individual at the World Cup and highest score by an Aussie, also at the World Cup.
That’s a lot of batting records.
The ICC have acknowledged making high scores has been made easier over time with favourable bat technology, fielding restrictions, short boundaries and flat lifeless pitches. It’s something they said they’ll address after the World Cup but until then, records will continue to fall at great rates.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game2 days ago
You had to see it to believe it. Down 1-0 to Pachuca and on the brink of elimination, the Montreal Impact got a goal from Cameron Porter right at the bitter end of stoppage time that tied Tuesday night's game 1-1 and booked the Impact's place in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.
On top of being a huge goal for his team, it was Porter's first career professional marker.
From the Canadian Press:
"Sheer ecstasy," was how beaming Porter described the feeling. "I didn't even know how to celebrate so I just started running, basically. And everyone piles on top of you and you find it hard to breathe."
Montreal's chance to progress looked slim after defender Laurent Ciman gave up a penalty in the 80th minute and German Cano converted from the spot to put Pachuca up 1-0. The Impact pushed for a tying goal and saw their dream come true when Porter was able to get on the end of a long ball from Callum Mallace and score four minutes into added time, just seconds before the final whistle.