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The GIST's Bits & Bites: Canada

Basketball

This week from the Australian Open, Toronto Raptors, NWHL, and NHL.

February 04, 2021
Source: Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

🎾Tennis: Australia, rightfully so, is very serious about COVID-19. After one staff member at the Melbourne Park tennis facility reported a positive test, all Australian Open warm-up tournament matches were cancelled for today.

  • Organizers will release an updated schedule tomorrow, which is great because even though Bianca Andreescu pulled out of the Grampians Trophy and Team Canada was ousted from the ATP Cup, we’re still excited to see Canadian phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime play in the Murray River Open’s round of 16. 

🏀Basketball: If you haven’t seen this video of Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet celebrating his franchise record-setting 54-point game with his team on Tuesday night, then watch it right now. And if you have seen it, watch it again. It’s adorable. 

  • And get this: Freddie set a league record, too. That 54-point performance was the highest-ever single-game points total for an undrafted player. 
  • Next on Freddie’s list — according to his mom — is to become the 30th NBA player to score 60 points in a game, or just the 7th player to score 70. Bet on yourself.

🏒Hockey: The NWHL isn’t the only league having COVID-19 troubles; the American NHL divisions have been having a rough go, too. The Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres are the latest teams to postpone games and close their training facilities due to COVID-19 protocol, and the Vegas Golden Knights’ next few games are in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, things are rolling along nicely *knock on wood* in the North Division. The Ottawa Senators are in Montreal tonight to face Canada’s current best team, the Canadiens, while the Vancouver Canucks are visiting Canada’s wannabe best team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Check out the schedule here.