Regina, SK - The first week of the 2014 CFL regular season draws to a close tonight when the defending Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders take the field against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Mosaic Stadium. Hedo Turkoglu Jersey . Watch the action live on TSN and TSN GO at 7pm et/4pm pt. This is a replay of the 101st Grey Cup from November, when the Roughriders delivered a convincing 45-23 thrashing of Hamilton in front of nearly 45,000 fans. The Riders, led by head coach Corey Chamblin, would like nothing more than to get off to the same type of start that they had a year ago when they rattled off five straight victories and captured eight of the first nine outings overall. The team did stumble slightly down the stretch with back-to-back defeats to close out the regular season and suffered a four-game slide during the month of September, but the club proved to be resilient, finishing 11-7 overall, but taking home the Grey Cup when all was said and done. The third-leading passer in terms of yards last season with 4,154, Darian Durant is back under center for Saskatchewan as it begins the quest for back- to-back titles, something that has happened only once in the last 15 years. Durant, who has been with the Riders for his entire nine-year CFL career, tossed a personal best 31 touchdowns and finished with an efficiency rating of 95.7. In 2013, Durant had a trio of top-notch receivers who he relied heavily on, but one of those, Weston Dressler has since signed with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, leaving Chris Getzlaf and Taj Smith to carry more of the load this time around. All three posted at least 1,000 yards through the air, with Dressler leading the way with nine touchdowns. However, Getzlaf and Smith both landed in the end zone seven times and the former averaged a hefty 16.6 yards per catch. Another major change for the Riders is the departure of running back Kory Sheets, the most valuable player of the Grey Cup, as he signed with the NFLs Oakland Raiders. Sheets was second in the league with 1,598 yards and tied for the lead with 12 rushing scores, which means theres a huge void to be filled in the backfield for the club. A couple of newcomers, Keith Toston and Anthony Allen will be tasked with producing on the ground moving forward. Saskatchewan has to be pleased with the fact that they owned the toughest scoring defense in the CFL a year ago, allowing only 22.1 ppg, but that wont be easy to duplicate after losing Alex Hall. The defensive lineman placed second in the league with 16 sacks, but like many successful CFL performers, he too has latched on with an NFL squad (the Carolina Panthers) for the time being. On other side, the Tiger-Cats were the opposite of Saskatchewan through the first month of last season, winning just a single game in five tries. But the group did finish strong with four wins in five opportunities before, putting up a 10-8 mark, before defeating Montreal and Toronto in the playoffs. Kent Austin, the head coach, general manager and vice president of football operations for Hamilton, does have a major issue to clear up this time around with respect to his quarterback. Last year he watched Henry Burris tear up defenses for a league-best 4,927 yards, but this time around he will have to find a leader in either Zach Collaros, Dan LeFevour or Jeremiah Masoli. Collaros has the most experience of the three after spending a couple of years with Toronto, but he is still a major work in progress. LeFevour finished with almost as many rushing yards (317) as passing (394) with the Cats last year while Masoli attempted a grand total of just two passes for the program in 2013. At least for this week, it doesnt help that receiver Andy Fantuz is on the injured list, because he was one of the top pass catchers in the game with 65 grabs for 896 yards. That leaves Bakari Grant as the primary focus down the field after he posted 69 receptions for 947 yards, but a mere two touchdowns a year ago. Running back C.J. Gable is capable of adding another dimension to the offense, having gained 782 yards and scored seven times on 130 carries in his first CFL campaign, but the squad will have to be careful not to run him into the ground too early. From a defensive perspective, there is plenty of work to be done for the Tiger-Cats after they finished with a minus-13 in the turnover department. The squad logged just 14 interceptions, second-fewest behind only a hapless Winnipeg group, which they turned into a league-low 142 return yards. Hamilton was also last in the CFL in sacks with just 35. Stretching back to 1961 and focusing only on games that took place during the regular season, Saskatchewan holds a slight advantage in the series with the Cats at 42-38-4. The Riders have taken four of the last five and a startling 17 of the last 20 matchups with Hamilton. Larry Drew Jersey .I dont think it comes to mind in this business, in this game, the Philadelphia Flyers forward said. You dont try to lose games. Harrison Barnes Jersey . Vonn "reopened" the idea of competing in the season-opening World Cup event on Oct. 26-27 in Soelden, Austria after returning to the slopes last month in Portillo, Chile.This is a transmission test for Tuesday, please ignore ' ' '
SAN ANTONIO -- "Beat the Heat!" had a whole new meaning in a sweltering start to the NBA Finals. Jakob Silfverberg Jersey . The San Antonio Spurs handled the conditions, and the team, and it sure helped when a suffering LeBron James couldnt make it to the finish. Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Heat 110-95 on Thursday night in Game 1 at steamy AT&T Center. With an air conditioning failure making it feel like a sauna and causing James to battle cramps that knocked him out of the decisive stretch, the Spurs pulled away to win the opener of the first finals rematch since 1998. "After I came out of the game, they kind of took off," James said. "And it was frustrating sitting out and not be able to help our team." Manu Ginobili had 16 points and 11 assists, Tony Parker added 19 points and eight assists and the Spurs -- 6 for 6 in NBA Finals Game 1s -- shot 59 per cent. "Just very proud of my team," Parker said. "We kept believing, kept pushing. We know its not easy." They host Game 2 on Sunday -- likely in cooler conditions. James finished with 25 points but played only 33 minutes, and Miami was outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter. "It sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point in the season," James said. Dwyane Wade had 19 points and Chris Bosh added 18, but the Heat wilted in temperatures that soared to 90 degrees in the second half. "It was tough on both teams," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. ... It was really hot out there." James, who had cramping issues two years ago in the finals, had to ask for a break in the fourth quarter and was getting treatment during a 15-4 Spurs run that turned around the game. James came back in and made a basket that cut it to two points with about 4 minutes left, but couldnt even run back on defence, promptly putting his hand up and lingering at the baseline until help arrived to take him off for good. "I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Danny Green followed with 3-pointer to trigger what became a 16-3 run to end the game. "You could see the heat was getting to a lot of guys. If I played as many minutes as he did, Id probably be cramping up, too," said Green, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the final quarter. The crowd chanted "Beat the Heat! Beat the Heat!" late in the game, which was just what the fans themselves were trying to do. The Spurs said an electrical failure for the power that runs the air conditioning system had occurred. They apologized for the inconvenience but also seemed to poke fun of it, playing songs with "hot" in the lyrics over the sound system. Fans were trying to cool themselves on the hot night, a reminder of what it was like in the old Boston Garden when the Celtics and Lakers got together. The Heat are the first team since those Celtics of 1984-87 to get to four straight finals. They are well-rested after a relatively easy roll through the Eastern Conference playoffs, a key to keeping Wade healthy entering the finals. James was the MVP of the series last year when the Heat rallied from five points down in the final half-minute of regulation to win Game 6 in overtime, then won a Game 7 that was close the whole way for their second straight championship. A rematch was widely anticipated and was close almost throughout. The Heat led 86-79 after Boshs four-point play with 9:38 remaining in the game, but it was all San Antonio from there, and Wade said there were problems even beyond James absence. "Obviously, tonight we wouldve loved to have him in there to finish the game, but weve got to finish the game better," Wade said. The Spurs ended up extending their NBA-record streak to eight straight home playoff wins by 15 or more points. Their roster is filled with international players, such as Parker and Ginobili, who both said they were used to playing without air conditioning overseas. Bosh, scoreless in Game 7 last year, scored Miamis first five points in the Heats 7-2 start. But Ginobili came off the bench firing, making consecutive 3-pointers for an 18-13 lead. Wade and James combined for six straight points before Ginobili made another 3, and Patty Mills added one to close the first-quarter scoring and give the Spurs a 26-20 advantage. The Spurs committed nine turnovers while managing only 20 points in the third quarter, and Miami led 78-74 heading to the fourth. Notes: James joined Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players with 4,000 points and 1,000 assists in the post-season. ... Ray Allen moved past Bryant and Derek Fisher into second place on the career list with 49 3-pointers in the NBA Finals. Robert Horry, a former Spurs forward, is the leader with 56. Ruslan Salei Jersey . On Wednesday night, they showed that stellar defence and a little small ball can get the job done too. With pinch-runner Kevin Pillar aboard after Dioner Navarro opened the bottom of the ninth with a single, Anthony Gose dropped down an excellent bunt along the first-base line. Frederik Andersen Jersey . Its like being on Broadway, everything you do matters. Id want to be good though! I couldnt play here if I wasnt very good. #83217388 / gettyimages.The St. Louis Cardinals had a major need at shortstop and signed a veteran free agent who, while having PED issues, has been a potent hitter throughout his career. Numbers Game looks at the Cardinals addition of Jhonny Peralta. The Cardinals Get: SS Jhonny Peralta. Peralta, 31, has been one of the more productive shortstops in baseball since sticking as a regular in 2005. From that point, Peralta has slugged 152 home runs, behind only Hanley Ramirez, J.J. Hardy and Troy Tulowitzki in that span, and Peraltas cumulative fWAR of 23.0 ranks seventh at the position since 2005. More recently, Peralta has a fWAR of 11.0 over the last three seasons, which ranks fourth among shortstops. So, weve established that Peralta can hit the ball, but he deserves credit for fielding too. Earlier in his career, with Cleveland, Peralta typically had a negative Defensive Runs Saved and negative Ultimate Zone Rating, indications that his glovework -- and especially his range -- werent necessarily up to snuff. However, while Peralta isnt a Gold Glove candidate, hes fared significantly better in Detroit and does have a strong arm, so he doesnt pose an immediate problem in the field. He is on the north side of 30, though, so it shouldnt come as a surprise if his range becomes an issue. The main concern with Peralta is how his 2013 season was sideswiped by a 50-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs. He did hit a career-high .303 in 2013, before getting suspended, with an .815 OPS that was the third-highest of his career (following a .689 OPS in 2012, his lowest in a full MLB season), so its fair to wonder whether Peralta will be as productive if hes clean. It would probably be reasonable to assume that he wont be aas productive. Dave Karpa Jersey . Nevertheless, even if Peralta isnt likely to duplicate his 2013 season for the next four years, he should be an upgrade on punchless Pete Kozma at shortstop for the Cardinals. St. Louis shortstops had an OPS of .583 last season, ranking 28th, so anything resembling competent offensive play would represent an upgrade. Peralta has fared well against the National League throughout his career, hitting .301 with an .856 OPS in 156 career Inter-League games. The Tigers reacted quickly when Peralta was suspended last summer, dealing for slick-fielding Jose Iglesias, who doesnt have Peraltas bat, but is much better in the field. Peralta is signed for four years and $52-million, significant money even for a starting shortstop, particularly because of the risk that, by the end of this deal, Peralta either may not be able to play shortstop or he may simply be a liability in the field. If his bat happens to slow down at the same time, the Cardinals could really regret the length of the contract, but its easy to see the appeal in adding a middle infielder who has pop in his bat, particularly when contrasted with the relative lack of offence that the Cardinals received from their shortstops last season. If Peralta happens to hit 12-15 home runs per season and turns out to be worth 8-10 wins total over the next four years, then hes probably fulfilled his side of the deal. If hes not capable of doing that clean, then the Cardinals are going to regret rolling the dice on a player caught using performance-enhancing drugs in 2013. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '