Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for November 29, 2018

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Crokicurl coming to Fort St. John

The long awaited crokicurl rink in Fort St. John is still a go, it's just taken longer than the City of Fort St. John expected because of the warm and rainy weather. The cold streak forecasted for next week could lead to the grounds crew making the rink, as well as finishing the flooding of the outdoor hockey rink at Kin Park and the Matthews Park Skating Ribbon. 

“As soon as they’re able, the grounds crew will be out in full force flooding the rink,” said Robin Langille, the city's director of facilities and grounds. 

Second Base - Saints square off against Cowboys in Dallas

The 10-1 New Orleans Saints play the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys at 6:20 p.m. today. On the surface, it's another game that the Saints should win easily, as they seemingly score 40 points every game. However, Dallas has sneakily won three straight games and is playing their best football of the year. The Cowboys strength is the defence; they can't match up against the Saints offensively, so if they have any shot, they'll need to pressure Drew Brees and limit Alvin Kamara's big gains. I think they have a chance, but even then, the Saints could still win by seven or 10 points. However, for maybe the first time ever, I'm heavily rooting for the Cowboys tonight. The Saints are thought to be the best team in the NFL right now and I want that talk to stop.

Third Base - Potential finals preview?: Raptors play Warriors tonight

Tonight's game between the 18-4 Toronto Raptors and 15-7 Golden State Warriors is under the magnifying glass all over the world. It's a game between the two NBA finals favourites at this point of the season. The Raptors are trying to downplay that notion, but the Warriors, including Klay Thompson, are laying into that narrative hard. The Raptors have won six in a row, while the Warriors just three. As well, the game is in Toronto, and Draymond Green and Steph Curry won't be playing for Golden State. On the surface, this is Toronto's game to win. However, though they've always played the Warriors close, the Raptors haven't beat Golden State in the Steph Curry and Thompson era, and Toronto will need to ignore the noise and hype and play a solid game. The Warriors will give their all in this game, and we'll get a good look at how the Raptors handle that kind of effort. 

Home Base - Canadian hockey roundup

It's been a couple weeks since we've checked in on the NHL, particularly how the Canadian teams are doing. Since I last wrote about the Canadian teams, the Vancouver Canucks went on a seven-game losing streak and fell from first place to fifth in the Pacific Division, so hopefully that doesn't happen this time around. Starting in the West, the Calgary Flames are in first place in the Pacific by one point over the San Jose Sharks, but aren't playing particularly great. Rather, they win one, lose one, but are where they are because the Pacific is really bad right now. Still, the Flames are doing better than their division rivals, the Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are playing more defensively since they brought in coach Ken Hitchcock, but are in sixth place and could use a hot streak any day now. Similarly, the Winnipeg Jets, in fifth in the Central Division, are doing much worse than expected. However, it's a long season and they're just two points out of third place in the division, an automatic playoff spot. Continuing the trend of Canadian teams playing poorly, the Montreal Canadiens have lost five straight, and the Ottawa Senators are finally looking like the team we all expected them to be — one of the worst in the league. However, the Senators do have the fourth most goals scored in the NHL, so there's that. That leaves us with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I wish there were other Canadian teams playing well, but that's not the case. Toronto, however, has won three in a row, is 18-8 and tied with the Buffalo Sabres for most points in the league. Plus, Auston Matthews came back yesterday and added two goals and an assist for the Leafs in their 5-3 win over the Sharks. No big deal. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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