Hockey season is well and truly underway with a new year meaning the mid-season madness is setting in. For all teams across the two conferences, this will mean deciding
to either readjust their tactics, experiment with new ones or continue tried and tested plays in order to see success come June.
The Vancouver Canucks, a team who face this very dilemma, sit fourth in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the NHL, having won 25 of their 47 games so far.
Going into 2020, the stakes for the postseason picks and who will make the playoffs will begin to heat up. Outlets like William Hill’s Hockey betting will be offering exciting odds for teams like the Canucks who, given their run of form, might just be a dark horse pick for anyone willing to back them.
Necessary changes made
After a poor start to the season, the Canucks found their form just before Christmas and are hoping they can continue that way in order to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. They’ve spent a significant portion of their available money to add quality and experience to the side, resulting in a notable step up in character where it matters and besting some top teams so far this season.
While the Canucks are the highest scorers in their division with 155 goals overall, it’s the individuals making the assists that are really powering the team forward and up the Pacific Division.
Quinn Hughes, who signed a contract with Vancouver in March of last year, has been an astounding surprise for NHL fans everywhere. The 20-year-old defenseman has bagged himself 27 assists in the 44 games he’s appeared in and will surely be a standout rookie to watching heading into this new decade.
Towards the end of the season, whether the Canucks make the playoffs or not, there will be important decisions to be made by manager Jim Benning. With the February trade window just around the corner, there is the question of whether older heads like Christopher Tanev, who achieved his 100th career NHL point back in October, will be traded for younger players to maximise potential in the ever-tightening cap space.
Both Canucks fans and NHL punters will be sure to keep in mind that, with almost half of the season to go, anything can happen. Vancouver is sitting pretty at the top of the West Conference Wildcard Division and despite their improved form, they may just need to rely on the wildcard opportunity for a chance at postseason.
Jim Benning has made significant progress with his time since his appointment in 2014, but the Canucks remain an unpredictable force. In the first half of the season, they won 3 out of 4 possible points against the St. Louis Blues and beat the Vegas Golden Knights, but were blitzed by the Chicago Blackhawks and blew a three-goal lead to lose to the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
It’s safe to say that the Vancouver Canucks aren’t safe from faltering but given their excellent roster of players both young and experienced, they have all of the capability to continue their Christmas form and aim high for the rest of the season.
9 Surprising Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
As a sport, martial arts is something that attracts many kids. The very nature of martial arts requires that in order to be any good at it, students work at it for long periods of time. Thus, parents who want their kids to be excellent martial artists will put their kids in the sport often far earlier than is typical for other sports.
This is for good reason — there are many excellent benefits of martial arts for kids. Martial arts offers development for kids in a way that no other sport can quite parallel. In this article, we’ve listed nine such benefits, with explanations of how kids achieve each of those benefits.
1. Excellent Coordination
One of the best benefits of martial arts for kids is the coordination that is sure to result. As a child, one is still learning how to use one’s body and coordinate it. Any kind of martial arts imparts excellent coordination skills.
This is because the punches, kicks, and defenses that are required in martial arts are very varied, but all rely greatly on timing and precision. A punch has to be thrown precisely, and the same goes for a kick and any type of defense.
Thus, the kid learns how to control his or her body, and also gains excellent hand-eye coordination.
2. Mental Strength
One of the key attributes that one requires to be good at martial arts is mental strength. After all, when one is in a sparring match, think of what that entails. At the end of the day, someone is trying to impart physical hurt on you!
To be able to understand that, absorb that, and still perform at a high level physically under that mental pressure will no doubt develop intense mental strength in your child. This mental strength will crossover into many other things later on in the child’s life, be it with regard to tough schoolwork or major life decisions.
Martial arts for kids is an excellent choice because like any other sport, it requires the child to be extremely teachable. No martial arts coach will allow any nonsense or tantrums from your kid. In order to at better at it, your child must approach the sport with a teachable spirit.
If your child is not willing to be coached, chances are the martial arts coach won’t allow him or her to pursue the sport for very long!
Once your child learns this teachability, you’ll find that parenting him or her home becomes much easier as well!
4. Physical Progression
Martial arts is easily one of the most demanding sports out there. Just try punching or kicking a bag for several three-minute rounds. It isn’t easy! In addition to being excellent cardiovascular training, it will also physically progress and train your child in other ways.
The net result is that your child’s muscles will grow faster, they will have greater core strength, and they’ll be able to perform far better at any other sports that they may decide to play down the road.
You might be scratching your head at this one. Teamwork? Isn’t martial arts an individual sport?
Yes it is — however, martial arts is still able to teach kids great teamwork. This is because in order to get better at martial arts, one has to spar with other students frequently. Thus, the students have to be able to communicate with each other after these sparring matches in order to learn what they could do better and how they can improve.
Consequently, your child will learn one of the most fundamental skills of teamwork: how to give and take constructive feedback. In addition, many martial arts competitions are team-based, and your child is sure to form extremely close friendships that will stay with him or her for years.
Martial arts teaches compassion. Whether one is in a true competition or in a simple sparring match, one will learn to never take his or her opponent past their limit. It suffices to beat their opponent; they never need to mercilessly crush them.
With the right coach, your child will learn to be compassionate on those who may not be as good as them and will learn to be careful to use their own strength in a way that doesn’t physically damage another child in the long-term.
7. Fighting Skills
At the end of their martial arts training, your child will be a better fighter!
The skills that they have will come in handy if there ever should arise a situation where your child has to stand their ground against a bully or needs to employ self-defense tactics while getting robbed at night.
These skills are extremely valuable and will no doubt be given to your children if they train for martial arts.
Being good at martial arts, due to the very physical nature of the sport, will inspire your child with much confidence growing up. Being good at any sport gives your child something to take pride in, and the very nature of martial arts will allow your child to hold his or her head high among their peers.
9. Athletic Competition
Competition is good for a child so that they can learn how to compete graciously and exhibit sportsmanlike behavior. If your child ends up having a natural ability for martial arts, he or she may be able to participate in some competitions.
Not only will this teach them work ethic as they train for these competitions, but it will teach them how to be a good winner, if they are fortunate enough to win, but also how to be gracious in a loss if they ever miss the mark at a competition.
The Best Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids
At the end of the day, it is clear that the benefits of martial arts for kids simply cannot be ignored. If you’re on the fence about putting your child in martial arts training, think about these benefits that your child is sure to gain!
9 Niche VOD Channels Every Sports Fan Will Love
Cutting the cord is a touchy subject for most sports fans. Most sports fans would love the idea of cutting the cord and have one service that caters to sports fans.
For years, cable has had a death grip on sports fans with their expensive ala carte sports packages. Oftentimes, extra channels are thrown in to jack up the price. This frustrates sports fans, but what can they do?
Are you tired of paying for a bunch of channels that you’ll never watch? You may want to consider the growing list of video-on-demand or VOD channels that cater to sports fans.
Here is a list of 9 VOD sports channels to satisfy your biggest sports cravings
1. YouTube TV
$49.99 per month
Is cutting the cord is a difficult pill to swallow for your family members? If not, save some money on channels no one watches. YouTube TV may be a service that is perfect for you.
YouTube TV has a ton of news and entertainment channels lumped into its monthly rate. YouTube TV has over 70 channels to satisfy your family. Some channels include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and other popular channels, such as HGTV, AMC, and Disney Channel.
For sports fans, YouTube TV offers a lot of options to help you cut the cord. Sports fans get channels like FOX Sports, FS1, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBC Sports, and more.
YouTube TV subscribers also get unlimited cloud DVR storage! The service keeps your recordings for up to 9 months. You can stream on up to three devices at once in case your family wants to watch different programming at the same time.
YouTube TV is a great option for the family. Consider cutting the cord without sacrificing quality programming and sports.
$5.99 per month; $54.99 for Hulu and Live TV
Hulu is another great option for families who are looking to cut the cord. Especially if you don’t want to sacrifice your favorite channels and programming. Although the service is a little more expensive than YouTube TV, it does offer some other advantages.
First, Hulu has a large library of on-demand programming for popular television series and popular movies. Next, Hulu also offers families to watch on unlimited screens as an upgrade. Last, you can watch Hulu on many different devices from computers, tablets, phones, Roku, FireTV, Chromecast, Apple TV, and more.
For sports fans, they offer BTN, CBS Sports Network, seven ESPN channels, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, and NBC Sports Network. It is missing a few league channels, like the MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network.
3. fubo TV
$54.99 per month
Like YouTube TV and Hulu, fubo TV offers an impressive array of channels for the family and sports fans alike. With over 100 channels and over 130 evens in 4K, it offers crystal clear programming. Your cord-cutting family won’t miss their cable box with channels like USA, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr.
For Sports fans fubo TV has a wide array of sports programming and channels. Some sports channels included are CBS, FOX, Golf Channel, NBA TV, NBC, and NFL Network. It also offers add-ons for international sports channels.
One drawback to fubo TV is that it only offers 2 screens available at a time. To have more screens available you’ll have to upgrade to a more expensive option.
4. Amazon Prime Video
$8.99 per month
Amazon won’t have you throwing away cable boxes like YouTube TV or Hulu. However, it does offer some good content for the subscription price. It has a large library of shows and movies to watch on-demand.
For sports fans, they offer the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football games. As part of its on-demand sports content, it offers the popular All Or Nothing series. It focuses on sports teams and covers them from behind-the-scenes. For an additional cost, sports fans can add CBS All Access, NBA League Pass, and PGA Tour Live.
A cheaper option than YouTube TV and Hulu and Live TV, but it may have you missing your cable box.
5. CBS All Access
$5.99 per month
Similar to Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access offers on-demand options through its channel programming. However, it also offers local sports programming from CBS. This would include some NFL games, NCAA March Madness, and select PGA Tour events.
If you’re only interested in replacing local sports programming, this is a cheap option for cutting the cord.
$19.99 per month
Similar to CBS All Access, Dazn offers some options for sports. It doesn’t offer the convenience of a cord-cutting cable service though. Dazn caters to sports like Boxing and MMA. They also offer sports like cricket, fishing, darts, gymnastics, and Japanese soccer.
Dazn doesn’t offer NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL games in the United States. Additionally, they offer streaming on 2 screens at a time. This is more of the single bachelor’s streaming option who is into boxing and MMA.
$4.99 per month
It’s important to mention that ESPN+ does not include normal ESPN programming. It won’t offer SportsCenter, SportsNation, Around The Horn, NFL Live, First Take, Outside The Lines, or Pardon The Interruption. It also won’t offer Monday Night Football.
It does offer extra programming like the popular 30 for 30 and E:60 documentary series. They also offer live sports from MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, and various college sports.
8. Sling TV
$25 per month
Sling TV divides its sports content between two packages. The orange package offers ESPN channels. The blue package offers NFL Network and NBC Sports.
To get all the sports, you need to purchase both packages. You can also add beIN Sports, ESPN U, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network for an additional $10.
Sling also lost all its live sports programing with FOX and CBS, which means you’ll need an antenna to watch Sunday Football.
9. AT&T TV Now
$55 per month
AT&T TV Now, formerly Direct TV Now offers a wide array of sports programming. However, you will have to shell out some extra dough. For $70 per month, you can get CBS Sports Network, four ESPN channels, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, and SEC Network.
You can watch on two screens simultaneously and add additional screens for $4.99 each. They also offer capabilities to rewatch old aired content (up to 72 hours) and offer a rewind feature that sports fans truly enjoy.
What VOD Channels Will You Choose
With all of these VOD channels for sports, it may be tough to decide. Think about what works for you, and look into the options that make sense for your area. Each area may have slightly different programs or packages.
VOD is the future of sports. Consider this, sports streaming for Super Bowl LIII was up 20% from the year before.
If you aren’t ready to cut the cord yet, refer a friend.
Be sure to check back for more content like this on our blog.
Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund To Provide $1 Million To Help Young Canadians Return To Hockey
Canadian families impacted by COVID-19 can apply now for registration fee subsidies
The Hockey Canada Foundation has launched its new $1 million Assist Fund to provide registration fee subsidies for qualified Canadians who are registered with Hockey Canada-sanctioned associations for the 2020-21 season.
“As a prominent national sports organization in the country, it’s Hockey Canada’s mission to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “It’s a goal that’s more important than ever, as COVID-19 has had a challenging impact on so many young people from coast-to-coast-to-coast.”
The Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund allows Canadians who meet the criteria and need a financial hockey assist to apply for up to $500 in registration fee reimbursements per player, provided the registration is with a Hockey Canada-sanctioned association.
To enhance the impact and support for local communities, Canadians can also donate to the Assist Fund, with 100% of all donated funds reaching young Canadians. The Hockey Canada Foundation will absorb all administration costs associated with the fund. Donations can be made at HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund.
A line-up of hockey heroes is championing the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund. All three have provided and known the importance of assists and community support, on and off the ice.
- Jarome Iginla (St. Albert, Alta.) – Hockey Canada alumnus, member of the Class of 2020 for the Hockey Hall of Fame, two-time Olympic gold medallist (2002, 2010), gold medallist at the 1997 IIHF World Championship, gold medallist at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship and provider of one of the most famous assists in Canadian hockey history, on the Golden Goal by Sidney Crosby at 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver
- Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) – Captain of Canada’s National Women’s Team, two-time Olympic gold medallist (2010, 2014) and gold medallist at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship
- Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) – Member of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, gold medallist at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games and four-time gold medallist at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2008, 2011, 2013, 2017)
The Assist Fund was born from the ongoing commitment of the many partners of Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation, including Bauer, BDO, Berkshire Hathaway, BFL CANADA, Canadian Tire, Chevrolet, CN, Hankook, Nike, OK Tire, Premium Brands, Scotiabank, TELUS, TIMBER MART, Tim Hortons, TSN and RDS.
“With job losses and reduced incomes affecting so many, young Canadians need our help more than ever to get back into hockey,” said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “Our Assist Fund and the support of our amazing athletes and sponsors represents our combined ongoing commitment to providing access to the game.”
For more information about the Hockey Canada Assist Fund, or to apply or donate, visit HockeyCanada.ca/AssistFund.
About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through its 13 member associations of over 750,000 players, coaches and officials.
Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities across Canada; provides consistent rules and regulations and various other membership services from coast to coast to coast; manages numerous regional, national and international hockey championships and events; and leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international competition.
Hockey Canada’s mission is to lead, develop and promote positive hockey experiences. For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook and Twitter.
Fraser Downs Reopens for the Fall/Winter Season
After six long months, Fraser Downs racetrack is excited to announce the start of their Fall/Winter season! Located in Cloverdale, Fraser Downs racetrack is home to some of the fastest and most promising harness racing teams in the country. After having to close the racetrack back in March, the Harness Racing community was forced to put their lives on hold and wait for an update on the COVID-19 situation.
Fortunately for the fans, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and the horsemen at Fraser Downs were able to reach an agreement that allowed stabled horses to practice on the track starting April, which meant less time lost for training. The practice sessions were to follow strict COVID-19 precautions, which remain in place today and limit the capacity and regulate the standards of the Elements Casino and the racing facility.
Abiding by these limitations, the local Harness Racing community has been able to practice and stay in shape leading up their competitive debut. The training has allowed some peace of mind for the owners, trainers, and horses who have been eager to get an actual race in motion. After many months of practice, the Fraser Downs racing community participated in their first official race of the Fall/Winter season – taking place on September 30th.
The nine-race card took place at 5:00 pm and was the sole Harness race across Canada – shining a spotlight on the Fraser Downs community. Following this kick-off race, Fraser Down continues to host two races per week – Wednesday nights at 5:00 pm PST and Friday nights at 8:00 pm PST. The races are running every week, from September through to late December, weather permitting.
Much like many racetracks across Canada, Fraser Downs will start its Fall-Winter without an audience, but they will be allowing one owner per racehorse to attend.
Fans who are eager to make their bets can watch the races online through streaming services and race apps HPI Bet and Dark Horse. These apps offer a safe solution so that viewers may watch, wager, and win – all from the safety of their own home!
City of Surrey resumes issuing permits for outdoor sport facilities
The City of Surrey will resume issuing permits for outdoor sport facility bookings effective today, June 17. Surrey’s outdoor sport facilities that are available for permitting include 15 artificial turf fields, 101 sports fields, 95 ball diamonds, 3 running tracks, 6 volleyball courts and 5 lacrosse boxes.
“The camaraderie and friendships that are intrinsic to team sports have been put on hold as we fight COVID-19,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “However, the collective progress we have made to flatten the curve means that the City of Surrey can resume issuing permits for our outdoor sports facilities. While I am very pleased that we can take this step, it is important that all participants, sport groups and teams follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines before, during and after play.”
All local sport organizations who have COVID-19 safety plans in place that have been approved by their applicable governing body may contact the City at 604-501-5174 or BookaField@surrey.ca to obtain a permit.
Visitors and sport groups are reminded to help keep outdoor sport facilities open by staying home if sick, staying 2 metres apart from others, practicing individual skills and cleaning hands and equipment often. Small groups of residents, including adults and children, playing informally are requested to give way to organized play where the participating teams and individuals are operating with a valid permit.
The decision to reopen these services is aligned with Phase Two of the British Columbia Re-Start Plan, emphasizing outdoor recreation spaces as a safe environment, and stressing “appropriate personal hygiene practices before, during and after outdoor play”.
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