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The Edge of Lori: Oct. 4, 2021

Toronto Blue Jays Infield Marcus Semien (10) hits a deep fly ball off of Minnesota Twins Pitcher Luke Farrell (51) during the sixth inning for his 43rd home run of the season tying the major league mark for most home runs in a season by a second baseman during a game between the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays on on September 25, 2021, at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by © Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)

Blue Jays Babble

The season outcome for the Toronto Blue Jays was set to go down to the final wire. After splitting a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins last weekend, the Jays headed home for their two final series of the season.

The New York Yankees were in Toronto for three offering an opportunity for Toronto to make gains on the wild card spot. Tuesday night was not the best start to this plan as the Jays lost 7-2. They were unable to contain Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, each delivering homers that powered the pinstripes to the win.

Wednesday night featured Bo Bichette stepping up for the Jays, with homeruns in the third and eighth innings, the latter being the game winner. Second baseman Marcus Semien had already made MLB history earlier in the game. His two-run homer in the first inning was his 44th of the season giving him the new MBL record for most single season homeruns by a second baseman. The Jays won 6-5.

The rubber match was to take place on Thursday night. The Jays headed into the game just one game back of a wild card spot. With a win they could leave the series tied with the Yankees. This is where press deadline greets us.

The Jays were due to greet the Orioles on Friday. By the time you’re reading this you will know the outcome of the three-game weekend series against the Orioles, and ultimately the outcome of the Jays season. Hopefully there will be more fall ball for our Blue Birds.

CFL Catch-Up

Week 8 in the CFL is in the history books, and with that we have reached the halfway mark of the season.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats pounded the Redblacks on their own turf on Wednesday with a final score of 24-7, leaving Ottawa fans bemoaning their quarterback situation. In Toronto, the Argonauts edged the Montreal Alouettes 30-27 despite some key injuries, including to starting QB Nick Arbuckle. McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw two touchdown passes in relief for the win. The Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the BC Lions in Vancouver with a score 31-24. The game was won on a late quarterback sneak by Cody Fajardo.

With half of the season complete, in the East it’s the Tiger-Cats and the Argonauts tied for first place with four wins and three losses apiece. The Alouettes are in third place with two wins and four losses and taking up the rear is the Redblacks with just one win and five losses.

In the west, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in the lead with six wins and one loss. At five wins and two losses, the Roughriders own second. In third place the Lions have four wins and three losses. The Edmonton Elks have two wins and four losses to occupy fourth place, and in the final spot the Calgary Stampeders also have two wins, but their five losses give them the worst percentage in the division.

NHL Noise

Preseason action is under way in the NHL as teams see what they’ve got heading into a new year. In the days ahead, camp numbers will be dwindling as coaches narrow down the final roster decisions.

From West to East, each Canadian team pressing questions as they work through their preseason schedules.

Fans in Vancouver should be contemplating whether Oliver Ekman-Larsson can return to form in a Canucks uniform, but instead they’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to camp. Neither of the restricted free agents have signed new contracts.

The question in Edmonton is once again goaltending. The Oilers re-signed 39-year-old Mike Smith this off-season and had Mikko Koskinen and Alex Stalock available as back-up options. But just as camp was getting under way, they learned Stalock would miss the season with a heart condition.

If the Calgary Flames aren’t wondering if the decision to bring back Coach Darryl Sutter might backfire, they’re more to be pitied than blamed. With the futures of Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau already up in the air, Sutter’s fit with the team is the lurking question.

In Winnipeg, the Jets are hoping Pierre-Luc Dubois can become the player they believed he was when they traded Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic to land him. With some core players approaching the end of their prime years, the Jets are looking to win now.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are considering who will replace Zach Hyman on the left wing of their top line. GM Kyle Dubas brought in a gaggle of wingers to compete for the role, including Michael Bunting, Nick Ritchie, and Ondrej Kase. Can either of them come close to providing what Hyman did?

In Ottawa the worry is whether the Senators will have to start their season without Brady Tkachuk. The restricted free agent has not yet come to terms with the team.

In Montreal, the question is whether they can repeat last season’s success with the turnover they experienced in the off-season. With Shea Weber out for the season due to injuries that may end his career, the Canadiens are wondering if they have sufficiently filled the hole on defence. They have a similar question for the centre position with the departure of Phillip Danault to free agency and the loss of Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet.

The preseason schedule concludes on Saturday, October 9th and the first regular season games are slated for the following Tuesday.

Lori Bennett is a social worker, policy professional, recreational softball player and coach, and new ukulele-ist. Originally from NL and now based in Toronto, Lori loves a good hockey chat or debate, as long as it remains respectful. She posts game time thoughts on twitter as @lori10habs.

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