2020 World Series Preview

Today is Game 1 of the 116th World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. Hosted in Arlington, Texas, this World Series will also be the first World Series since 1944 to have every game be played at one location. Now let’s take a closer look at the two teams competing in the 2020 World Series.

(@Dodgers / Twitter)

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season with their 8th straight divisional title and had the best record in the MLB going 43-17. Led by Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and NLCS MVP Corey Seager. This Dodgers squad is seen as the favourites heading into the World Series. Which is now their third appearance in the last four years after coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. The Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox in back to back years in 2017 and 2018. And were eliminated in the NLDS by the Washington Nationals in 2019. Who later went on to win the World Series that year. The Dodgers haven’t won the World Series since 1988.

(@RaysBaseball / Twitter)

The Tampa Bay Rays finished on top of the American League with a 40-20 record. This is the Rays second-ever World Series appearance since joining the MLB in 1998 after nearly blowing a 3-0 series lead in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Their first appearance was in 2008 in which they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. As mentioned earlier, the Dodgers are the favourites to win the World Series, but the one thing the Rays have been able to do better than any other team this postseason is hit home runs. They lead the league with 25 home runs thanks in large part to rookie Randy Arozarena who won the ALCS MVP and has seven home runs so far this postseason. Those 25 home runs are also 7 more than the Dodgers 18. So if the Rays have any shot, it’s to keep up with the home runs and hope none of their hitters start going on cold streaks.

Game 1 starts tonight at 5:11 pm PST and if you feel confident saying who’s going to win, leave a comment below.

2021 World Juniors Schedule Announced

For those who are waiting patiently for the NHL to return to play for the upcoming season. Don’t worry, earlier today the schedule for the 2021 World Juniors was announced. This should be something all hockey fans should be excited for; especially considering it’s being held on home soil in Edmonton, Alberta. So let’s take a closer at it, shall we?

(@TSN_Sports / Twitter)

Before the tournament officially begins, there will be 10 pre-competition games. These games are taking place from Dec 20th to Dec 23rd. Canada will be playing against Sweden on December 21st and are also facing off against Russia on the 23rd. After that, the official tournament opens on Christmas Day. However, Canada will be having their first game on Boxing Day as they’ll be squaring off against Germany.

(International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) / Facebook)

Looking at the groups, it really does seem as if Canada has a rather significant edge in Group A. Even without the two top draft picks of the 2020 Draft, Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield. Their biggest worry would be going against Finland. But that’s not to say any of the other teams won’t be an issue for the Canadians. There’s always the potential for an upset in tournaments like this. 

As for Group B, this is a tough one to try and predict. Russia is a team coming off a silver medal finish in last year’s World Juniors and they always bring a very good team to these events. Russia will also likely be led by Canucks prospect Vasily Podkolzin who should be a force to be reckoned with once again. The United States will of course have a well-rounded squad. With notable returning players like; Trevor Zegras, Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield. And after finishing with a 6th place finish in the 2020 World Juniors, you can expect this United States squad to be a lot hungrier this time around. And finally, reigning bronze medalists Sweden is also going to have another solid roster. With highlighted prospects from the 2020 NHL Draft, like Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz. So expect them to be dominant once again in the group stages.

It’s still way too early to make full predictions for this tournament, but that’s not to say it won’t be an interesting event. And if you feel like you know who’s going to win, leave a comment below explaining who you think will win gold this year and why.

Canucks Sign Gaudette & Hawrlyuk

Free agency continues on, and the Vancouver Canucks have made a couple more signings today. The Canucks have re-signed RFA Adam Gaudette to a one-year deal worth $950k. The Canucks also signed Jayce Hawrlyuk to a one-year, two-way deal worth $800k, with a cost of $200k if he were to be sent to the minors.

(@Canucks / Twitter)

(@Canucks / Twitter)

Gaudette was coming off his most productive season so far with the Canucks, registering 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 59 games. Those numbers were 8th among all Canucks players. “Adam has been an excellent young player for us and we are happy to have him continue his progress for another year in Vancouver,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning. Gaudette will most certainly help the Canucks forward depth for the upcoming season as he’ll look to continue to improve his all-around game.

(@Canucks / Twitter)

The newest Canuck, Jayce Hawryluk, is a 24-year-old right-shot centre from Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Hawrlyuk has played a total of 68 career NHL games. Recording 10 goals and 22 points. Hawrlyuk was drafted 32nd overall by the Florida Panthers in 2014 and has spent the majority of his time with the Panthers organization, but was later acquired by the Ottawa Senators during the 2019-2020 season. 

With both these signings, the Canucks are now left with $1,048,122 in cap space, according to CapFriendly. The Canucks also still have to figure out what to do with their other notable RFA Jake Virtanen. Who has filed for arbitration after a career year in which he recorded 18 goals and 36 points. The Canucks will have to find a way to either convince the 24 year-old BC native to another low budget contract, or try to move on from one of their expensive contracts to clear space. The Canucks are also in the market for another defenseman to help try and reassemble their blueline after seeing Chris Tanev and Troy Stetcher move onto different organizations. How Benning and his management group will be able to pull those things off, will be something Canucks are going to keep a close eye on.

My Favourite EA Sports NHL Games

EA has been developing NHL games since 1991. And with that many games being released on a yearly basis. There have been some good games that have been made. So with the release of NHL 21 being today, I’m going to be sharing what are my favourite EA Sports NHL games.

NHL 2003

An absolute classic game from the PS2 era. It wasn’t very realistic, but that was the charm of it. As a very young kid, I didn’t worry about realism. All I wanted was something enjoyable. Which is what NHL 2003 certainly was. The intro to the game was awesome because it was cool seeing real-life NHL players saying “EA Sports! It’s in the game!” Once that cut, “Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World would start playing and I would get super hyped. It also shares what is quite possibly the best commentating in the entire series. Jim Hughson and Don Taylor were great together and I wish they would’ve brought them both back more often in later instalments. This was also the first NHL video game I played.

NHL 09

This is the one I played the most growing up. While NHL 08 had started to shift to a more realistic look and feel for the series, NHL 09 took what it had and made it even better. The gameplay itself felt smoother and the modes that were added in NHL 09 have become staples ever since. Be A Pro made its debut. This mode allowed you to create a character and make your way through the minors to play in the NHL. And I couldn’t stop playing it. It was super cool back then to feel like I was playing alongside players like Henrik and Daniel Sedin. And while I didn’t play this back when it was first introduced, EA Sports Hockey League made its debut in NHL 09 as well. Where you could play as your Be A Pro character and play with others online. Almost like playing an actual beer league hockey game. Both of these modes are still present to this day and have expanded even more since their debut back in 2008.

3on3 NHL Arcade

Remember how I said NHL 2003 wasn’t realistic and that was part of the charm? Well, 3on3 Arcade is pure silliness all around. Easily the most casual and entertaining experience you can have while playing any virtual hockey game. With everything being on a smaller ice surface, no penalties, offsides or icings, the games are just pure chaos and it’s so enjoyable to be able to hit players and sometimes see them go flying out of the rink. There are also powerups that can either help or hurt your team. Big Goalie and Small Goalie changes the size of the goalies. Freeze makes players standstill for a certain amount of time. SuperSpeed and SuperShot make you either skate around super fast or give you a shot that’s nearly impossible to stop. Double Score gives you twice the amount for a goal. Big Player turns you into a giant that can’t be stopped. And Banana leaves banana peels on the ice for players to slip on because why not? You could tell the people who made this game had a blast making it. And honestly, there are games that get released nowadays that feel almost lifeless. This was not the case. It may not appeal to some, but I’m someone who enjoys when random things happen in movies or video games. Which is why I love this game.

Honourable Mentions

NHL 06

NHL 04

NHL 12

If there’s one I didn’t mention that you enjoy more, leave a comment below.

Which Season Is The Best?

Are you someone who prefers the cold or the warm weather? Let’s discuss that today and see how far I can go without making you angry. Fingers crossed it won’t be after the first paragraph, but let’s get right into it shall we.

Autumn 

We’ll start here because it’s the current season. When I was younger, I wasn’t super crazy about autumn because I used to believe it just ruined everything by having to go to school again. Well, I’ll admit, it’s grown on me over the years. Which is funny considering it’s the season where everything is dying, but I digress. I’ve gotten more accustomed to the cooler temperature of autumn and with the way trees are changing colours looks gorgeous. It’s also a sign of hockey starting up again, or at least it usually is. And since I’m just another basic Canadian who loves hockey, it’s always fun to look forward to it. So because of all that, it’s a good season.

Winter

This one has had the opposite effect on me. When it starts to snow, as a child, it’s the best. You can go sledding, make snow forts, build snowmen and have snowball fights. Now that I’m an adult, I can’t stand the snow. Driving in it is the absolute worst, scraping off your windshield is tedious; as well as shovelling all the snow, it gets way too cold outside and since I tend to wash my hands a lot, my knuckles crack easily because of the cold. The two things that make winter a little more tolerable is the fact that school goes on pause, or ends depending on the situation and also because of Christmas. Christmas is always a blast for me and I always look forward to it.

Spring

The turning point of each year. Always feels like the light at the end of the tunnel to me. Sun comes out more than in previous months, it starts to get warmer, no more having to wear lots of layers to go outside and the way everything starts to blossom again is beautiful to look at. It doesn’t get bonus points from me because of spring break, but it’s a nice little addition to have thrown in. Plus everybody starts to feel less grumpy and become more upbeat and excited. Which is always a good thing. And playoff hockey and basketball. It’s the best time to watch those two sports. It’s a near-perfect season.

Summer

Summer is the most overrated season of the year. (Insert hot take pun here). But in all honesty, summer really isn’t that enjoyable to me. I know everyone gets time off school and everyone can go outside and enjoy the beach with the hot sun beaming down. But that’s the thing, it’s too hot during the summer. I’m not a fan of the 30+ degree weather that’s a daily occurrence in July and August unless you lived in Prince Rupert last summer. As well as all the bees, wasps, hornets and mosquitos. They’re the absolute worst. The only redeeming factor is that it’s not winter.

Final Ranking

  1. Spring
  2. Autumn
  3. Summer
  4. Winter

If you disagree, leave a comment below ranking yours.

Celebrating Quinn Hughes’ Birthday

October 14th. It’s a day to remember. Not because it’s the day Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a helium balloon from space. Or because Steve Bartman cost the Chicago Cubs the 2003 World Series. No, no, no. It’s because on October 14th, 1999, Quinn Hughes was born. And to celebrate Hughes’ birthday, let’s take a look back at some of the early highlights of his NHL career.

NHL Debut (March 28th, 2019)

Even though it wasn’t technically apart of his full rookie campaign. This is still one that a lot of Canucks fans will remember for years to come. Coming down the right wing boards, with Trevor Lewis of the Los Angeles Kings sticking to his left. Hughes is making it seem as if he’s going to go around the net towards the left side of the ice. Instead, he stops on a dime behind the net, banks it off the net, back to himself, comes out in front to create a great scoring chance and ultimately ended up with an assist after Brock Boeser scored on the rebound. Earning Hughes his first career point, in his first NHL game.

First NHL Goal (October 9th, 2019)

Two big milestones for Hughes against the Kings? It’s almost too perfect. On the Canucks home opener of last season, In what was a dominating 8-2 win, Hughes scored the opening goal with a heavy slapshot from the blue line over the glove of Jonathan Quick on the powerplay. But what made that goal even more special was the lead up to it. Hughes eased his way thru the neutral zone and into the offensive zone while having all four Kings skaters staring at him. After Hughes dropped it to Adam Gaudette for a scoring chance, Tanner Pearson found the puck and fed it back to Hughes on the right side boards. And the rest is history.

All-Star Game (January 25th, 2020)

Going to the All-Star Game is not something that happens for the majority of NHL players, but to play in one as a rookie is even rarer. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Quinn Hughes. While he may not have put up a lot of points during the whole event, he was able to catch the attention of “The Great One” himself, Wayne Gretzky. During the Pacific vs. Central game, Hughes received a pass from Matthew Tkachuk and went in on a breakaway against Binnington. However, what made it more exciting was that he scored with one hand on his stick while going to his backhand. Which, led to Gretzky saying; “That young lad’s a defenseman? That’s better hands than I had. Wow!… That’s pretty good.” Yeah, Hughes is pretty good alright.

Now as much as I would like to keep going on and on about Hughes, I think it would be better just to watch a full highlight package instead. So enjoy that and Happy Birthday Quinn Hughes and many more to you.

 

What Are The Best Horror Movies Of All-Time?

Now that we’ve moved on from Thanksgiving, except when it comes to all the leftovers. Halloween is now getting closer and closer. This is now the time where even more decorations are being put up and your timeline is guaranteed to have at least one creepy video shared by now until the actual date. Now, this whole spooky vibe has got me asking this. “What are the best horror movies of all-time?” There’s a long list to choose from; and that’s not including all the ridiculous amount of Friday the 13th sequels. So here are some of my favourites, as well as a few honourable mentions.

Halloween (1978)

Of course, a classic. It may not be a movie that is made today with lots of cheap jump scares and obnoxiously loud music throughout, but it’s the simple Bogeyman story being told in this one and it’s a movie that can keep you tense all the way through. Unlike a lot of the sequels that soon followed.

The Exorcist (1973)

Another classic and one that I couldn’t watch for many years growing up. Not just because of the creepy face you see during the movie, but because of the atmosphere. It’s intense from start to finish. The performance too from Linda Blair is amazing. Especially when you consider how much she was asked to do throughout the whole movie. And the ending is one to remember for its incredible exorcism scene. 

Psycho (1960)

What is arguably the best Alfred Hitchcock movie is also quite possibly one of the best horror movies ever. Whether it’s the iconic performance from Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates or even the iconic score i the movie. It’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t know about Psycho. Fun fact, it was also the first American film to show a toilet and a toilet being flushed.

REC (2007)

REC is one that isn’t as old as the previous ones, but it’s just as memorable. It is a foreign, found footage movie that takes the whole infected/zombie trope and cranks it up to 11. With the way, it’s shot and written. It’s executed in a way that what you see in the movie is something that could potentially happen if anyone were to be in the middle of an infected/zombie outbreak. REC gets a special recommendation from me as it’s my favourite horror movie of all-time.

Honourable Mentions

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Hereditary (2018)

The VVitch (2015)

The Shining (1980)

There’s certainly more that are worth noting, but these are just some notable ones. And if I missed your favourite, leave a comment below.