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's opening night in the NHL, and we've got a lot of questions

The 2019-20 season starts tonight with a handful of games, including Ottawa vs. Toronto and Vancouver vs. Edmonton on national (cable) TELEVISION here in Canada. Here are some things we're questioning the league's most interesting groups:

Can Tampa Bay get better from one of the greatest upsets ever? The Lightning were practically everyone's pick to win the Cup after assembling one of the best routine seasons of all time. But they got swept in the very first round by Columbus, which outplayed them from start to end up. Tampa is still the best group in the league, however its air of invincibility is gone.

Was St. Louis a one-hit marvel? Everybody appears to believe so, due to the fact that it's tough to bear in mind a defending champ being this disrespected. Oddsmakers are stating half a dozen groups have a better opportunity to win the Cup-- including Colorado, which is the trendiest team this year.

Will the Avalanche make the leap? There's great reason to be delighted about this team. Regardless of being underdogs in the playoffs, the young Avs ran Calgary off the ice in the preliminary, then offered a veteran San Jose group all it could handle in a seven-game series. Colorado has one of the very best one-two forward punches in hockey with MVP candidate Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, and they added Nazem Kadri as a strong second-line centre. Defenceman Cale Makar is a competitor for novice of the year after making his NHL launching in the playoffs.

Will the Leafs crash and burn once again? Love 'em or hate 'em, there's never a dull minute with this team. Toronto is a Cup contender, a great deal of fun to watch, and swimming in drama. Coach Mike Babcock was already on the hot seat after a 3rd straight first-round defeat, and things didn't precisely cool off over the summer. Mitch Marner's free firm dragged out up until the team overpaid him, and we found out last week that Auston Matthews was charged with disorderly conduct for a presumably intoxicated event down in Arizona back in the spring. This is still a championship-calibre roster. But if the Leafs stop working to surpass the very first round again, heads are gon na roll.

Did Winnipeg miss its window? The Jets looked like a leading Cup contender in 2017-18 and once again in 2015-- till they cratered in the 2nd half of the season and lost in the preliminary of the playoffs to St. Louis. There was talk of an unhappy dressing room, and Patrik Laine didn't precisely assist matters a couple of weeks ago when he stated he is worthy of better linemates. The forwards should be excellent if everybody can get along. It's the blue-line that's worrying. Star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien took a leave of absence and no one understands when he'll be back. Depth was lost when bad-tempered Jacob Trouba was traded and Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot left in free agency. This appears like a make-or-break season for the Jets, and it's hard to think about a group with a wider series of results.

Can the Hurricanes keep the fun going? Their post-game "Storm Surge" events were a hit with a great deal of fans (particularly younger ones), and they backed them up with some fantastic play. With young centre Sebastian Aho leading the method, Carolina defied expectations by making it to the last 4 before getting swept by Boston. The Hurricanes do not look like a fluke, however this was their very first playoff look in a decade. Groups that make a big jump like that typically take a step back the list below year.

Can Connor McDavid save the Oilers from themselves? The NHL's finest gamer is trapped on one of its worst teams. McDavid won the scoring title in 2017-18 and completed second to Tampa's Nikita Kucherov in 2015, but Edmonton missed out on the playoffs by a mile both times. To include injury to insult, McDavid harmed his knee pretty seriously in the season finale. He appears to be fine now, however the Oilers are not. There's inadequate skill around McDavid. And rather of trying something brand-new, the group dipped into the recycling bin for its 2 most significant relocations: Ken Holland was hired as the brand-new GM and Dave Tippett as the new head coach. Could be another long year.

Pack for the brand-new NHL season by reading about more crucial stories here, brushing up on the brand-new rules here, and enjoying this video on 9 things you should know for 2019-20: Need a refresher prior to the NHL season kicks off? Rob Pizzo has

you covered. 1:50 Quickly ... Bianca Andreescu's winning streak is much better than she's getting credit for. Andreescu advanced to the round

of 16 at the China Open today with a straight-sets win over unseeded Elise Mertens. Officially, that's her 16th win in a row. She's won her very first two matches in this tournament after winning seven en path to the U.S. Open title and six to take the Rogers Cup. Prior to that, she withdrew prior to her second-round match at the French Open, which does not count as a loss. So when you add her first-round win at the French, that makes the streak 16 matches. But if we wish to be a bit more generous, we could argue it's truly 26. Prior To the French Open, Andreescu won her first three matches at the Miami Open prior to retiring during the next one due to the fact that of a shoulder injury. That formally counts as a loss, however her opponent didn't actually beat her. And before that, Andreescu won all seven of her matches at Indian Wells to take the title there. Fine, it's a bit of a stretch. If you go along with this, Andreescu hasn't really lost a match considering that March 1 (in the semifinals of a tournament in Mexico). That's more than 7 months ago. Read more about Andreescu's newest win here. 2 Canadians are leading the decathlon at the track and field world championships. With half of the 10 legs done, Damian Warner remains in top place and Pierce LePage is 2nd. It's actually tight at the top, so they have plentymore work to do tomorrow to win medals, but what a start. There were no Canadians in any of today'smedal events, however 3 Canadian females advanced to finals: Brittany Crew (shot put), Andrea Seccafien( 5,000 metres )and Sage Watson, who broke a 23-year-old nationwide record in the 400m obstacles. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford got approved for the semis in the 1,500 m. The most interesting events tomorrow from a Canadian perspective are the ladies's shot put final and the last 5 legs of the decathlon. That starts early and you can view it live beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET here. Read more about today's Canadian results here. Canada got destroyed by New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup. This wasn't a fair fight. New Zealand won the last 2 World Cups. Canada won a total of 2 matches over the last fourWorld

Cups and was simply wishing to end up third in its group at this one in order to receive the next. However that modest goal is watching out of reach after today's 63-0 loss to New Zealand, which followed a 48-7 defeat to Italy. Canada has two matches left in the group stage: vs. heavyweight South Africa on Tuesday and vs. light-weight Namibia on Oct. 13. The last one a minimum of provides the Canadians a chance to go out on a high note. Read more about today's defeat here. The American League wild-card playoff is this evening-- and ideally as interesting as last night's National League video game. Tampa Bay check outs Oakland at 8 p.m. ET. This one is too close to call: the teams were separated by just one game in the standings.

The winner gets a best-of-five series against Houston, which has the finest record in baseball this year. Last night's NL wild-card video game ended in dramatic/heartbreaking style. Milwaukee led Washington 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th when Brewers novice right-fielder Trent Grisham allowed a bases-loaded single to bounce past him. That cleared the bases, sending Washington to a 4-3 win. Watch the play and check out more about the game here. Desire more writing like this sent out straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Buzzer below. Read more about Andreescu's newest win here. That gets going early and you can watch it live starting at 9:30 a.m. ET here. Read more about today's Canadian outcomes here. Read more about today's defeat here. Watch the play and check out more about the video game here.