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Big brother prevails as Matthew Tkachuk’s Flames beat Brady’s Senators



OTTAWA — Kneeling opposite one another at centre ice during pre-game warmup, Matthew Tkachuk got his first glimpse of the C on brother Brady’s jersey.

Asked afterward what he was laughing about as he pointed to the A on his chest, he took the opportunity to do what older brothers typically do: remind everyone who the boss is.

“Deep down he knows I make the calls back home when we’re together in the summer,” chuckled Matthew, following the Flames’ 4-0 win over Brady’s short-handed Senators.


“He can be the captain of his team. He’s got me on that, because I’m not the captain of mine.

“But he knows who is captain in the summer.”

Pausing ever so slightly, he caught himself.

“It’s probably my mom, honestly,” added Matthew.

“But when it’s me and him, he knows who it is.”


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Matthew’s Flames certainly called all the shots Sunday in a one-sided affair most could have predicted, given the Senators have 10 players in COVID-19 protocol.


However, having gifted a similarly depleted San Jose Sharks team two points last week, not to mention being embarrassed by a far inferior Senators squad all last season, the Flames knew they couldn’t take anything for granted.

“We probably made that mistake against San Jose, looking too much ahead of them,” said Matthew.

“That was a tough lesson learned. Teams like that work harder than when they have all their top guys and regulars in. They worked hard tonight, but I thought we worked smarter. We knew we were idiots if we would have looked past them.”

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Andrew Mangiapane’s 10th of the season opened the scoring late in the first, followed by second-period goals from Elias Lindholm and Tkachuk that set the stage for a Nikita Zadorov snipe in the third. Uneventful, just as the Flames wanted.


While the brother act dominated the talk heading into the game, all the chatter in Calgary afterward will revolve around backup goalie Dan Vladar’s second consecutive start.

A tidy 27 saves later, the man who was Calgary’s first star in Toronto two nights earlier had his first NHL shutout.

Asked if he was surprised by the assignment, the soft-spoken, 24-year-old shrugged.

“It’s my job to be ready for every single game and if I get the call I have to give my team a chance to win,” said the Czech rookie, who is now 3-0-1.


“We haven’t won for three games in a row, so I thought we came with the mindset we wanted to win tonight, and it just worked out. From the get-go we were just the better team, and more focused team. I had no rebounds, so, easy game for me.”

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He’s right, although things can be made to look easier than they are when you combine being 6-foot-5 with being positionally sound.

Asked where the puck from his milestone effort would be going, he smiled.

“I heard I’m going to get it framed, I’m super excited about that,” he said.

“I think we just came with the right mindset tonight.”


The first man to congratulate him at the final buzzer was Oliver Kylington, who had apologized to Vladar on Friday after his fanned clearing attempt wound up snapping the goalie’s shutout bid late in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On this night, Kylington’s ongoing brilliance led directly to Mangiapane’s league-leading ninth road goal after the 24-year-old defender stepped up to intercept a pass and fed it to Sean Monahan, whose shot was deftly redirected in.

Kylington now has points in nine of his last 10 games to lead all Flames blue-liners in points.

Coach Darryl Sutter said the decision to start Vladar was made for two reasons, namely the fact he wanted the red-hot youngster to experience the weight of consecutive starts, while also spelling Jacob Markstrom off for what should be five days between starts by the time he plays in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“Same (as) his last game, I thought he was really good around the net,” said Sutter.


“Those are tough starts for the classic backup guy. That’s part of being an NHL player. He’s showing that as we go. We’re still learning lots about him, but he’s learning how we want him to play too.”

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The game marked Walker Duehr’s NHL debut, making the college free agent signing the first player in NHL lore from South Dakota.

His rookie lap was uneventful, as were his eight minutes of ice time.


The 23-year-old Duehr was discovered by Flames college scout Billy Powers while constantly monitoring his teammate at Minnesota State Mankato — Connor Mackey.

Duehr replaced Tyler Pitlick in the lineup.

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Fans React To LeBron James’ Remarkable Offseason Plans



(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


LeBron James is one of the best players in the NBA, even when entering Year 21 of his career.

But James hasn’t maintained that status by relaxing during his free time.


Instead, he works extremely hard on his craft and goes above and beyond to stay in top-notch shape entering a regular season.

It seems that the 38-year-old has taken things up a notch ahead of the 2023-24 season.

LeBron recently shared an Instagram story, via Bleacher Report on Twitter, showing that he was working out at 3:00 a.m. and NBA fans had various reactions to it.

James has been a phenomenal player throughout his 20-year career in the NBA.

But even after two decades in the NBA, James is training as if he’s a rookie playing his first season in the league.


Considering how James is preparing for the new season, it seems almost unbelievable that he was on the verge of retiring after the 2023 playoffs.

As for his stats, James put up 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game last season.

Despite having such numbers, James couldn’t help the Los Angeles Lakers get past the Western Conference Finals.

With that failure in mind, it seems he’s hungrier than ever to win another NBA championship.

Moreover, the 38-year-old will finally be at 100% after battling injuries throughout last season.


James will be the primary superstar of the Lakers, but the organization has added many key role players to the roster ahead of the upcoming season.

Keeping that in mind, if James leads the Lakers to another title, it won’t be a surprise.

The post Fans React To LeBron James’ Remarkable Offseason Plans appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Several NBA City Edition Jerseys Appear To Be Leaked



(Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)


The “City Edition” jerseys for NBA teams are some of the most sought-after items sold in the league.

Every year, fans flock to buy these special annual pieces of team history.


And it seems that every year, the jerseys are leaked before their official reveal.

It looks like that has happened again because pictures shared by NBA UK Fans, via NBA Retweet, seem to show City Edition jerseys for both the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls.

Fans are already debating if these jerseys are good or not.

A yearly tradition, the jerseys are created to show off the “inherent bond between, court, community and culture,” according to a press release from the NBA.

While they definitely do that, they also become incredibly popular merchandise the moment that they go on sale.

Year after year, the city jerseys are some of the most popular items sold at arenas and in fan shops.

If these two jerseys are legitimate, they reveal that both the Mavericks and Bulls are going for understated and clean looks in 2023-24.

They are both relying on a darker scheme with clean fonts and minimal other colors.


There is no doubt that both of these jerseys will fly off the shelves.

As for the rest of the league, we should expect to see their special jerseys in the weeks ahead as the new season unfolds.

Players across the league will be brandishing these jerseys during select games and fans will be wearing them year-round.

These two will certainly impress many but there are 28 more on the way.

The post Several NBA City Edition Jerseys Appear To Be Leaked appeared first on The Cold Wire.


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Insider Reveals Celtics Star Decided Not To Get Offseason Surgery



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After another disheartening loss deep in the playoffs last season, the Boston Celtics are hoping to make another run at their 18th NBA championship.

They made big changes during the offseason, jettisoning former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari to obtain star center Kristaps Porzingis, and although they also lost 3-and-D forward Grant Williams, some insist trading for Porzingis was a genius move.


Yet Boston’s championship hopes will ultimately fall on star forward Jayson Tatum more than anyone.

Via ClutchPoints, Ramona Shelburne said Tatum thought he may need surgery on his non-shooting wrist, but he ended up deciding against it.

Tatum had a career-best effort last season by averaging 30.1 points. 8.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists a game as the Celtics finished with a 57-25 record, which put them in second place in the Eastern Conference.


In the Eastern Conference Finals they fell behind, 3-0, to the Miami Heat, a team that looked inferior to them on paper, only to charge back and win the next three games.

Everything seemed set up for Boston to achieve a historic Game 7 win at home, but they scored only 84 points and lost by 19.

Tatum was a major reason for the loss, as he scored just 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

By trading Smart and receiving Porzingis, the Celtics may be much improved offensively, but the question is how they will continue to be one of the NBA’s top defensive squads.

In addition, their bench has been greatly weakened, as Malcolm Brogdon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is their only reserve who is any kind of offensive threat.


The post Insider Reveals Celtics Star Decided Not To Get Offseason Surgery appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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