Moore’s Morning Sports Briefing for Thursday, March 28

Gooooooooodddddd Morning

Dustin Byfuglien won’t be in the Jets lineup for tonight’s 7 p.m. faceoff against the NY Islanders, but the difference making defenseman will probably get the green light for the team’s final regular season home game vs Montreal on Saturday.

Wednesday, Big Buff skated in his first “full contact” practice since Mid-February, after being sidelined with a second ankle injury.

Byfuglien played just five games after injuring his ankle the first time. Obviously he — and the Jets — wants to make sure that is not a repeat scenario with the playoffs just five games away after Thursday night.

Dallas Goalie Ben Bishop had to leave a game for the second time in less than two weeks during the second period of the Stars 2-1 win in Calgary. Bishop, who is having a Vezina Trophy caliber season, appeared to aggravate a groin injury that forced him to miss two games after another early exit vs Minnesota on March 14. The win leaves Dallas three points ahead of Colorado and five up on Arizona for the #1 wild card in the West. The Avalanche received another strong outing from Goalie Philipp Grubauer, who made 34 saves in a 4-3 win over Vegas.

David Pastrnak scored a hat trick and added a pair of assists as Boston doubled the Rangers 6-3.

Philadelphia edged Toronto 5-4 as Sean Couturier scored just his third goal in 21 career shootout attempts for the Flyers.

The Moose suffered a costly 3-2 loss in Texas, as both the Stars and Milwaukee moved past them in the four-way fight for the final playoff spot in the AHL Central.

Swan Valley doubled Steinbach 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in their MJHL semifinal series. And Brandon wrapped up the Manitoba Midget League title in 4 games with a 4-1 win at home over the Winnipeg Wild. The Wheat Kings now advance to the Telus Cup Regional Championship Tournament which starts a week from Thursday in Tisdale, Sask.

Football

It sounds like contract talks between the CFL and the Players Association are about to take on a more serious tone when the two sides resume discussions early next week in Toronto. The Union’s Senior Advisor, Ken Georgetti telling a media conference call on Wednesday that the two sides are, or should be, very close to opening discussions on monetary issues.

Baseball

Seattle and Oakland did play a couple of games that counted in the standings last week in Tokyo, but let’s just stay with the idea that it’s Opening Day in the Majors with a full slate of 15 games — including the Toronto Blue Jays beginning their march towards what many are expecting to be a 100-loss season when they host Detroit just after 2:30 p.m. Marcus Stroman will start for Toronto, who traded away another veteran last night when DH Kendrys Morales was sent to Oakland for a prospect.

Tennis

Eighteen year old Felix Auger-Aliassime is the youngest player to reach the men’s semifinals of the Miami Open in the 34 year history of the tournament. Auger-Aliassime advanced to the final four with a straight-sets win over Borna Coric of Croatia. Fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov could join him with a win later Thursday over Stefanos Tsistipas of Greece.

Curling

Manitoba rinks skipped by Dave Boehmer of Petersfield and Terry Ursel of Arden play in 10:30 a.m. semifinals at the Canadian Sr. Curling Championships in Chilliwack, B.C. Boehmer is up against 10-0 Bruce Korte of Saskatchewan for a berth in the Men’s final while Ursel takes on 9-1 Sherry Middaugh of Ontario in the women’s semifinal.

Golf

And Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and Patrick Reed all lost on Day One of the Dell Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas.

Tiger Woods won his opener, 3-and-1 vs American Aaron Wise.

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