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Another slow start dooms Oilers in Detroit against Red Wings



So, all those coaches for all those years were right all along.

It turns out you CAN’T play 20 minutes and win a hockey game.

Goalie Stuart Skinner was fantastic, give or take a puck-handling error that ended up in his own net, but his Edmonton Oilers teammates were not close to worthy of the two points Tuesday in Detroit, thoroughly outplayed for the opening 40 minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings.


“Didn’t like the start,” began Connor McDavid, whose team trailed 3-0 until Jesse Puljujarvi scored with 35 seconds left in the second period. “We dug ourselves a hole again. Loved the response, but we can’t keep digging that kind of a hole.”

Edmonton trailed the New York Rangers 4-1 on Friday night, before storming back to win 6-5 in overtime. After opening a five-game road trip in Detroit, a grumpy head coach Dave Tippett did not see any similarities between the two efforts.

“Last game was different. We were down 4-1 but we were still in the game,” he said. “Not enough urgency not enough execution tonight. They played a desperate first period and we didn’t match that.”

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Though McDavid scored a goal to stretch his points streak to 19 games going back to last season, one run that died in Motown Tuesday came on the power play, as Edmonton failed to notch a goal for the first time all season, going 0-for-2. That’s a franchise record that stops at 10 games.

Vlad Namestnikov walked Tyson Barrie wide on the first Detroit goal, then he stood in the slot and poked home a rebound while defenceman Evan Bouchard stood next to him, admiring the Detroit forward’s fine form. Then Skinner’s gaffe made it 3-0, and the Oilers just couldn’t climb all the way back.

“Never lose two in a row,” said McDavid, whose club is still a lofty 9-2. “That’s the focus now.”

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Tasty Stu

There was some good news for Edmonton on Tuesday with the performance of Skinner, who made his second NHL start in the nets. He looked far more comfortable than his maiden start last season, and despite a puck-handling miscue that gave Dylan Larkin a freebie, Skinner looked far more comfortable than he had in his only NHL start last season.

“Much better,” the 23-year-old Edmonton native said. “It felt like I just went out there and do what I normally do. It felt better to have (AHL) games before I actually played.”

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Skinner sat on the bench for seven games watching Mikko Koskinen before getting this start, and got his team to the dressing room down only 1-0 after a first period in which Detroit outshot Edmonton 16-9 and owned the puck. It was a 2-0 game 14 minutes into the second when Skinner fanned on a puck behind his own net.

As he tried to recoup, Larkin lifted Skinner’s goal stick and tapped home one of the easiest goals of his long career for a 3-0 Red Wings lead.

“Honestly, I just fanned on it,” Skinner said. “Hard fan, bad timing. If that didn’t happen we’d potentially still be playing (in overtime), so obviously it sucks … At the same time it happens. Move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

A young goalie could be crushed by such a play, but Skinner bounced back after that giveaway, giving his team plenty of time to catch up.


“Believe it or not,” Skinner smiled, “I’ve made a worse play before in my career and we ended up winning the game. I just looked back to that, and there’s always a chance to come back in a game. We almost got it.”

They didn’t deserve it, but indeed Edmonton nearly pushed this game into OT. They owned the Wings for the final 10 minutes, but it was Detroit that finally got the empty-netter.

The Red Wings deserved the two points. They were the better team for 40 minutes.

Zack is Back — On I.R.?

Zack Kassian got moved up to the second line, a rare tour in the Top 6 for a guy who is pretty much a prototype for what you want in a third-line winger. Unfortunately, Kassian never saw the second period after he suffered a “lower body injury” in the first.

In his post-game remarks, Tippett did not have any information on the extent of the injury.

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Kassian played just 27 games last season because of a pair of injuries. He just never got started.

This season he had three goals and five points in his first nine games, and staked his claim on a line with Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan that — though Tippett may tinker during the season — looked very much like a valid post-season third line.

It was time to tinker after a few sub-par games, Tippett said.

“They’ve been very average the last two, three games. We decided to shake it up a bit,” Tippett said. “We were going to try Yamo and Ryan together because they penalty kill together, but Kass goes out of the game early and we really didn’t get a chance to see what we were looking for.”

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Reporter Says 49ers Have 2 MVP Candidates This Season




The San Francisco 49ers have started the 2023 regular season similarly to how they ended 2022.


In a streak that spans to last season, the 49ers have won 13 straight regular season games.

While they are dominant on both sides of the ball, many analysts give credit to two of their offensive players.

Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey are both performing at high levels, causing David Lombardi to call them both MVP candidates.

Purdy has already thrown for more than 1,000 passing yards, adding five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

While he hasn’t necessarily dominated the stat sheet with touchdown numbers, playing mistake-free football is always a good thing.

He has the trust of this locker room and organization and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

Purdy might have been Mr. Irrelevant during the 2022 NFL Draft, but that hasn’t stopped him from strong on-field performances this year.

McCaffrey is also performing to new heights, even by his high standards.


He leads the league in rushing through four weeks, averaging more than 100 yards per game.

McCaffrey already has six rushing touchdowns, adding one touchdown through the air.

Both players are seen as some of the top offensive players in the league, which is why Lombardi made this bold statement.

The 49ers are commonly highlighted across the NFL due to their strong defensive play, which has continued this year.

If they’re able to continue the brilliance from that side of the ball, paired with this output from McCaffrey and Purdy, the 49ers’ ceiling could be limitless.


The post Reporter Says 49ers Have 2 MVP Candidates This Season appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Former NBA Champion Opens Up On Altercation At Boxing Fight



(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


If you followed the NBA in the 2000s, you know Stephen Jackson isn’t the kind of guy you want to mess with.

Often tangled up in controversies and physical altercations — both on and off the court — his reputation preceded him for years.


It’s been a while since we last saw him in the league, but Jackson’s temper was once again on full display, this time during a boxing event.

Following Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s win over Jermell Charlo, the former NBA champion had a bit of a run-in with security.

Now, Jackson explains that he did cut off Canelo’s family to get out of there because he had already been nice and patient enough to wait for 30 people to go out (via Ball is Life).

He added that he didn’t want to wait until 70 people passed just because he wanted his all brass out of there, stating that things don’t work that way and that everybody needs to be somewhere else.

That’s classic Stephen Jackson right there.

Jackson was a harsh trash-talker and a fierce, physical competitor on the court, not to mention a standout, loyal teammate who would go to war for each and every one of the guys in his locker room.

Unfortunately, that also made him look pretty bad multiple times, often resorting to rather violent behavior.

Now, the former champion has one of the most prominent NBA-related podcasts, All The Smoke, side by side with fellow troublemaker Matt Barnes, and you better believe they’re going to address this incident in the next episode.


The post Former NBA Champion Opens Up On Altercation At Boxing Fight appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Mark Jackson Is Reportedly Landing A Job With NBA Franchise



(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


It’s been a while since we saw Mark Jackson working for an NBA franchise.

The former guard and Golden State Warriors coach had struggled to find a new opportunity, eventually landing a job in broadcasting.


And now that Knicks legend Walt Frazier is reportedly looking to take a lesser role with the organization and not work on road games, it seems like he’s poised to get back to the league.

According to a report by Andrew Marchand of The New York Post (via NBA Central), Jackson will join the Knicks’ broadcast team starting next season.

Jackson played for the organization and is still beloved and respected by the fan base, so there are some obvious ties there.

He doesn’t get enough credit for setting the foundation for the Warriors’ dynasty, which is why some of his former pupils often mention him and give him praise and flowers for his impact on their success.


There have been multiple reports about his workplace behavior being the only reason why he hasn’t gotten another opportunity to be a coach, especially considering how much he’s lobbied to try and get back on the bench.

That may not happen any time soon, but at least he can stay close to the game he loves.

Moreover, the Knicks are expected to play in some meaningful games next season.

They got a lot better with Jalen Brunson’s arrival, and they figure to be even more competitive in his second year taking the reins of Tom Thibodeau’s offense.

The post Mark Jackson Is Reportedly Landing A Job With NBA Franchise appeared first on The Cold Wire.


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