- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
John Wall (Houston Rockets) with an and one vs the Miami Heat, 04/19/2021
John Wall (Houston Rockets) with an and one vs the Miami Heat, 04/19/2021
Danielle Goyette will join former Canadian teammate Hayley Wickenheiser on the Leafs player development staff.
Marv Albert says he'll work on his gardening and ballroom dancing in retirement.
Canada must win a last-chance qualifying tournament next month in Victoria to earn a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics are 10 weeks away and the first competition has already begun: the IOC vs. the Japanese people.
Conor McGregor announced the birth of his third child, Rían, on Instagram.
After 72 regular-season games, four teams from each conference will battle for two playoff spots this week.
Having only six guys for their season finale versus the Pacers made for an adventurous game, especially since half the bodies available were centers.
Alisson Becker won Sunday's game against West Brom the the first goalkeeper goal in the 129-year history of Liverpool Football Club.
The Warriors star entered Sunday's game averaging a career-high 31.8 points per game.
Welcome to the wild, wild West. This year pits three juggernauts and a recently-minted Cup winner in what should be the most fun first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
During his end of season availability, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet discussed what he learned about himself during a tumultuous season.
The road to the NHL's final four starts this weekend with Washington and Boston kicking things off.
It's been a great year for English football, with several key matches still at stake, while one of the Serie A's greatest rivalries is pushed to the forefront.
Get news, analysis, memes and more delivered to your inbox the morning after every Raptors game.
Juantarius Bryant will get a shot to prove he belongs in the NFL after he said he was tricked
Frank Mahovlich can't pick a side. And really, who can blame him? The Hall of Famer won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs — including the franchise's last title in 1967 — and two more as a member of the Montreal Canadiens in the early 1970s. So when the Original Six rivals open their first playoff meeting in 42 years later this week, Mahovlich will simply be an interested observer. "I won't be cheering for either one of them," the 83-year-old said with a laugh during a recent phone interview with The Canadian Press. "I don't want to make anybody upset. They're both great teams and they treated me so well." The Leafs and Canadiens used to meet regularly in the playoffs, tussling eight times between 1951 and 1967 before the NHL started to expand. "It was electric," Mahovlich recalled of the atmosphere inside the Montreal Forum or Maple Leaf Gardens. "You stepped on the ice and people were cheering like crazy ... and nothing's happened yet." The rivalry between Canada's two biggest cities, of course, goes far beyond sports, with long, complicated threads woven through history, language, culture and economics. "There has always been a competitive nature between Toronto and Montreal," said Brian Conacher, a member of the '67 Leafs. "There's always been this competitive spirit both on and off the ice. "It was a lot of things. It was a very big deal." The final in 1967 — Toronto's last playoff victory over Montreal came on May 2 of that year — was important for a number of reasons beyond the game. "It was the last playoff series of the Original Six, it was Toronto against Montreal, and it was Canada's centennial," Conacher added. "It was also Expo 67 in Montreal, where the expectation was that the Canadiens would be showing off the Stanley Cup in the Quebec pavilion." Darryl Sittler entered the league with Toronto in 1970, and it didn't take long for him to grasp the importance of Leafs-Canadiens through his veteran teammates. "I got a real pulse and feel for the tradition, the rivalry and the respect the organizations had for each other," he said. "The Habs were my favourite team growing up as a kid. Jean Beliveau was my idol." But there would be just two more post-season matchups post-1967, with Montreal's powerhouses of the 1970s sweeping Toronto four straight in both 1978 and 1979 on the way to winning the Canadiens' fifth and sixth Cups of the decade. "It's historic," said Scotty Bowman, who won five titles as Montreal's head coach. "We had a good rivalry." "Everyone sees that we won four straight games and we had nine Hall of Famers," said former Canadiens defenceman Larry Robinson. "But as anyone who's played knows, no game is easy. "The games were a lot closer." The fourth and final encounter at the Gardens in 1979 ended controversially when Leafs forward Tiger Williams took a penalty for high-sticking on Robinson in overtime. The blue-liner blasted home the winner on the ensuing power play, but along with some of Toronto's players, had to restrain an irate Williams from going after the referee. "Tiger is a great person and wore his emotions on his sleeve," Robinson recalled. "Was it a penalty? Was it not a penalty? Who knows? The fact that your team loses because you take a penalty and it's in overtime and there's not many penalties called in overtime, it was a unique situation. "Nobody wanted to win more than Tiger ... we were able to save him (a suspension)." Lanny McDonald credited Robinson for putting his own celebration aside to do the right thing, even in the heat of the moment. "Good for Larry," said the former Toronto winger. "That's the kind of guy he is. A true sportsman ... it could have been a whole lot worse." Part of the reason the Leafs and Canadiens, who open their pandemic North Division playoff series Thursday at Scotiabank Arena, haven't met in the post-season for more than four decades is because they resided in different conferences for much of the 1980s and 1990s. The teams got close to a dream matchup in the 1993 final, but Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings eliminated Toronto in Game 7 of the conference final before falling to Montreal — Canada's last Cup win. "Everyone was looking forward to the Leafs and Habs playing," said Sittler, who was part of Toronto's management at the time. "That would have been special. It's nice that this is happening. "Who knows if it's going to happen again for 42 years?" Speaking of long droughts, the Leafs haven't won the Cup since trading Mahovlich to the Detroit Red Wings in 1968. A family legend goes that his older sister, Anne, put a curse on Toronto that seems to have stuck. "She hasn't taken it off," joked Mahovlich, who was subsequently dealt to Montreal in 1971. "I don't know what's going to happen. "She was upset." Regardless of what does happen, a matchup generations in the making is finally here. Fans, while not allowed in either arena because of COVID-19 restrictions, are bubbling with excitement. The same goes for some of the game's greats. But unlike Mahovlich, most won't have difficulty choosing sides. "My heart his still with the Montreal Canadiens," Robinson said. "This is long overdue," McDonald added. "I'll be glued to the television set. "Can't wait." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Last summer, the bright orange pullovers were worn by the likes of LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and Chris Paul.
BRUSSELS — Canada's most decorated show jumper won't compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Eric Lamaze, owner of Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals, has withdrawn from Equestrian Canada's short list for the Summer Games. Three years of treatment for a brain tumour, the global COVID-19 situation and the inability of Canada to send a full show jumping team to Tokyo factored into his decision. "My health is something that I take very seriously, and I’ve decided that Tokyo is not the best venue for me," Lamaze said Monday in a statement. "While my health is stable at the moment, there are several risk factors that have to be taken into consideration." Canada won't compete in the team event in Tokyo and will send just one horse-and-rider combination. Lamaze was among five athletes Equestrian Canada announced for its short list. The 53-year-old from Montreal won individual gold and team silver in 2008 in Beijing aboard Hickstead, and an individual bronze in 2016 in Rio with Fine Lady. Lamaze and Hickstead were inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. Lamaze, who lives in Brussels, Belgium, feels the world remains in a precarious position because of the pandemic. Equestrian events are only now starting to return to the European calendar. "With all that we’ve lived through this past year, and what we are still seeing with so many people living through horrible situations both in Canada and around the world, I’m not sure I would even feel right winning a medal," Lamaze said in his statement. "The Olympics are a celebration of the athletes and I don’t think we’re going to have a true celebration in Tokyo. It’s not the time to celebrate." Canada can't send a show jumping team to Tokyo because it was stripped of its fourth-place finish at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. Nicole Walker tested positive for a cocaine metabolite. She said she inadvertently ingested the substance drinking coca tea, which is a common drink in Peru. The Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed Walker didn't intentionally take a banned substance, but said it didn't have the authority to overturn the Pan Am disciplinary commission's decision that dropped Canada out of the fourth and final Pan Am qualification berth for Tokyo. Lamaze's withdrawal leaves Amy Millar of Perth, Ont., Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, B.C., Mario Deslauriers of New York and Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, Ont., as Equestrian Canada's Olympic candidates. Lamaze, Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone won a team silver medal in Beijing in 2008. Lamaze, Foster, Amy Millar and Yann Candele lost a jump-off with Germany for the bronze medal in Rio. "I've always associated the Olympics with riding for the Canadian team," Lamaze said. "My success has been due to having my teammates there to pull together to be the best that we can be for our country. "Having my owners there, my friends and fellow teammates, and all the fans is what makes the Olympics special for me. When you come into the stadium, and hear the fans screaming and see the Canadian flags waving, it raises you up to another level. "As a solo act, I cannot see myself finding the motivation to dig deep enough to pull off an individual medal. I cannot be a true competitor without my team." Lamaze intends to compete in the 2022 world championship in Denmark, where Canada could qualify a team for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The owners of several of his horses, including Dieu Merci van T & L, support his decision to withdraw from the Olympics, he said. "I thank Mark and Tara Rein for their complete understanding of the situation and for their ongoing support," said Lamaze. "With this difficult decision made, we can now concentrate on continuing to develop the fantastic young horses that we have in our training program." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lucas Niang doesn't regret his decision to opt out of his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means the offensive lineman now faces an uphill fight for playing time this season. “I was thinking long-term,” he explained, “and that's what I decided.” Now, more than a year after Niang was drafted in the third round out of TCU, the Chiefs are getting a chance to see him on the field. Niang took part in their three-day rookie minicamp over the weekend, giving him a chance to shake off any of the rust accumulated during his time away while giving the Chiefs an idea of how he might fit into the lineup. “He actually came in better shape than he came in last year,” coach Andy Reid said, “so that's a plus. He's been doing stuff, so he came in and looked like he got right back into it. For what we asked him to do, he was fine.” He might need to be a lot better than fine to see the field this season. The way things worked out last season, Niang would have played some crucial snaps for the AFC champions — and even may have started in the Super Bowl. Injuries and the decision of fellow offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to opt out left them perilously thin on depth, and the only starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl that handled his job during the regular season was center Austin Reiter. The makeshift offensive line was predictably dominated by Tampa Bay in a humiliating defeat. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, perhaps scarred by the sight that February night, wasted little time scrapping their entire offensive line and rebuilding it from the ground up. They signed Patriots stalwart Joe Thuney to play left guard, lured former All-Pro lineman Kyle Long out of retirement to play guard or tackle, signed Rams center Austin Blythe and then made a draft-week splash by sending their first-round choice in a package of picks to land Baltimore tackle Orlando Brown Jr. The Chiefs weren't done, either. They landed one of the draft's top centers in the second round in Oklahoma's Creed Humphry, then took advantage of some medical concerns that allowed Tennessee lineman Trey Smith to slide all the way to the sixth round — a potential steal if his heart condition has truly been solved. Throw in the return of Duvernay-Tardif, who spent last season helping COVID-19 patients in his native Canada, and the offensive line room that Niang walked into this weekend looked a whole lot different from last season. “You can tell he's worked,” Reid said. “The thing with this is there was no offense vs. defense with the lines. We didn't have the one-on-ones or anything like that. So like all players, it's going to be a challenge down the road to get back into that, but for right now, he looked tremendous for what we were doing.” The year off allowed Niang to further recover from a hip injury that he suffered at TCU in 2019, though he probably would have been healthy enough to play last season. It also allowed him to work out with BX Movement’s Brett Yarris in his hometown of New Canaan, Connecticut, where the longtime guard spent time working at tackle. Given so many candidates for so few jobs, that flexibility could help Niang stand out from the offensive line crowd. “He’s a very intelligent kid,” said Reid, a longtime offensive line coach. “I think you guys know that, but he’s very intelligent. Just getting him back into the swing of things, it looked like he did that well.” It's not as though the Chiefs hadn't been keeping tabs on Niang, either. Their coaching staff reached out on a weekly basis to make sure he was staying in shape, and even his teammates kept in touch by text message and social media. “We were literally in the training room the other day and out of nowhere ... (Patrick Mahomes) bumps me and says, ‘Hey, how’s Niang doing?’" Veach said earlier this offseason. “We’re anxious to get him back." Well, he's finally back. And the Chiefs are counting on Niang to be better than ever. ___ More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Dave Skretta, The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse says a COVID-19 outbreak in March spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.The Raptors (27-45) finished 12th in the Eastern Conference to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They were in the thick of the post-season race before a COVID-19 outbreak sidelined numerous key players plus much of the coaching staff in March, and saw them win just one game that month.Nurse faces a busy off-season, including at least three weeks as head coach of Canada's men's national team. Canada must win a last-chance qualifying tournament next month in Victoria to earn a berth in the Tokyo Olympics.Two key off-season question marks are the futures of veteran guard Kyle Lowry and team president Masai Ujiri.Nurse says he hopes Ujiri stays, saying "we make a good team." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press