Moore’s Morning Sports Briefing for Thursday, March 14

Goooooooddddd Morning!

Jets Nation- you can take some solace in the fact you are not the only fan base feeling much angst about the performance of your beloved team as the playoffs approach. Imagine the anxiety in the self-proclaimed center of the Hockey Universe, after the Toronto Maple Leafs laid another egg on home ice.


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Blackhawks hold off late charge by Maple Leafs for wild 5-4 win

Forty-eight hours after spotting Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead just 25 minutes into the game on Monday night — which ended in a 6-2 loss to the Lightning — the Leafs responded by giving up five goals in 32 1/2 minutes before waking up to make it close in dropping a 5-4 decision to Chicago.

Goalie Frederik Andersen lasted only 20 minutes  before getting the hook, allowing 4 goals on 14 shots. The win keeps the Hawks within 4 points of the last playoff spot in the West currently held by Arizona.

With the way things went for the Edmonton Oilers in the first 50 or so games of the season — they left themselves no wiggle room for the playoff stretch drive. So last night’s 6-3 loss to a New Jersey Devils team missing seven of their top nine forwards was a bit of a dagger for those slim post season hopes. The loss left Edmonton six points back of Arizona, with just a dozen games to go.


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Edmonton Oilers playoff hopes fade further with loss to Devils

And in Vancouver, the Canucks knocked off the Rangers 4-1. Ex-Jet Brendan Lemieux, and Chris Krieder were both tossed from that game for the visitors. Lemieux will likely be getting a call from NHL Player safety after receiving a 10-minute match penalty for an elbow to the head of Canucks forward Antoine Roussel.

Tonight the Jets host Boston at 7 p.m., with both teams highly motivated to end two game losing streaks.


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Manitoba Moose beat Texas Stars to close gap for final playoff spot

The Manitoba Moose are now just 2 points behind Texas for the last playoff spot in the AHL Central after edging the Stars 4-3 at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday night.

Portage walloped Waywayseecappo 8-5, and Swan Valley downed Dauphin 5-3 to take commanding three-games-to-none leads in their MJHL quarter finals.

And the St. Mary’s Flames were 3-1 winners over the Selkirk Royals to sweep the best of three Winnipeg Women’s Hockey League A Division Final. Earlier in the week Sturgeon Heights and Murdoch McKay won the Division 2 and 3 titles respectively.

Basketball

The Golden State Warriors served notice they are still the best in the NBA West until some opponent proves otherwise. Even without Kevin Durant, the two-time defending champs edged Houston 106-104, ending the Rockets nine-game win streak.

The MILK Manitoba High School Varsity Girls 4A Semifinals go tonight at the U of M’s Investors Group Athletic centre. The Oak Park Raiders continue their quest for a three-peat when they play Glenlawn at 6p.m. Then it’s the Cinderella River East Kodiaks looking to extend their amazing post season run when they tip off against Sturgeon Heights at 8 p.m. Huskies Coach Evan Cox admits, there’s some feeling of uneasiness in going up against a 10th seed that has seemingly come out of nowhere.

The winners will play for the title on Monday Night.

Tennis

Mississauga’s Bianca Andreescu completely had her way with Garbine Muguruza of Spain, winning 6-0, 6-1 to advance to Friday’s Women’s semifinals of the Masters Tennis Tourney at Indian Wells, California, where she will play 6th seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

And Milos Raonic will play in the Men’s Quarters- but not Denis Shapovalov. Raonic is back on the court today to face Serbian teenager Miomir Kecmanovic.

WATCH: Rising tennis star fuels Canadian hopes after two big wins

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