CALGARY — It’s a pairing Flames fans plan on getting used to.
Two feisty, corner-dwellers with finish — a duo that could potentially lead the league in sparking post-whistle scrums.
After nursing a lower body “tweak” by skating on his own the first four days of camp, Mangiapane finally joined his teammates Monday when he was promptly positioned alongside the team’s prized free agent signing of the summer.
Funny, as what could be the start of something fantastically frustrating for the rest of the league could theoretically have started months earlier, when the two happened to be participating in the same summertime, 3-on-3 skating sessions in the Toronto-area.
“No, he was the captain of his gym there and he didn’t pick me,” deadpanned Mangiapane when asked if they’d ever teamed up before or after Kadri signed his seven-year, $49 million deal in Calgary.
“I’m still a little ticked off.”
Once he gets to know how dogged and determined Mangiapane is on the puck, you can bet Kadri will be glad his new left-hand man is by his side.
Fact is, had Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk returned, not only would there have been no cap room for a signing of Kadri’s magnitude, there’s also a good chance Mangiapane’s three-year, $17.4 million contract extension couldn’t have been squeezed in.
“That definitely is a possibility there — if those guys stayed, maybe I wouldn’t be here,” said the 26-year-old winger.
“Maybe they would have to create space and all that. Obviously, they had to deal with Johnny and Chucky there and had to go through all that. I was secondary to that, but my plan was always to stay in Calgary.
“I’m happy to be here and to be part of this team and hopefully we can do good things this year.”
That certainly seems like a possibility for the man who scored 35 goals last season the hard way, without a single minute on the top line or top power play.
Surely, after the departure of Tkachuk and Gaudreau, Mangiapane will be saddled with a heavier workload and a far more offensive-minded centre than Mikael Backlund.
Expectations will rise, as will the temperature of most games, with him and Kadri pestering the opposition.
“He obviously plays with that grit, and will get in there and muck it up and cause havoc,” said the 5-foot-10 Mangiapane, who plays like he’s a foot taller.
“He’s also a skilled player who scores goals, and he’s smart away from the puck. He’s kind of the whole package.”
The perfect man to help Mangiapane with a career progression that landed him 25th in league goal scoring, following an MVP performance at the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
“Ya, I think he could work well with a lot of guys on our team,” said Mangiapane, a left-shooting winger, who will almost certainly play behind fellow lefty Jonathan Huberdeau on the depth chart.
“I think he’s that type of player, when you play with him he makes others around him better.”
But, as Mangiapne and other Flames players are careful to point out in Darryl Sutter’s world, “you don’t want to read too much into (the lines).”
Huberdeau scored in the team’s first pre-season game Sunday while playing alongside Day 1 campmates, Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli.
While there is always the chance Mangiapane could move to the right side of the top unit, the most obvious fit would seem to be on his natural wing on the second line with Kadri — and whoever grabs the most sought-after opening in camp this year on the right side.
It would appear that gig is Sonny Milano’s to lose, although plenty will ride on the PTOs’ showing over the next handful of pre-season competitions.
Goals are expected to be at much more of a premium in Calgary this winter, as Gaudreau and Tkachuk accounted for 82 of the team’s goals last season.
Huberdeau (30 goals) and Kadri (28) should do well to help make up for that, but it goes without saying there’s pressure on Mangiapane to post another career season.
Sutter has said as much with his insistence the key to success will be on players aged 23-28 in his lineup to take that next step.
Mangiapane’s $5.8 million cap hit also ups expectations for the sixth-round draft pick who is the team’s third-highest paid skater this season.
“I think I’m planning to play the same way I have been, that’s my mentality going into camp, keep growing as a player and as an individual and helping the team wherever I can,” said the fan favourite.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with the lines, but it’s exciting times. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m happy he’s on our team now.”
Mitch Marner 17-game point streak Toronto Maple Leafs top Detroit Red Wings – TSN
DETROIT (AP) — Auston Matthews and William Nylander scored 51 seconds apart in the first period, Mitch Marner extended his point streak to 17 games and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Monday night.
“It’s a cool thing, but nothing is ever achievable in this game by yourself,” said Marner, who scored in the opening minute of the second.
Marner’s 17-game point streak is one shy of the single-season Maple Leafs record set by Darryl Sittler during the 1977-78 season and matched 12 years later by Ed Olczyk.
Rasmus Sandin also scored and Matt Murray made 42 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have won a season-high four straight — all on the road — and earned a point in nine consecutive games.
“It was our best game of the trip,” coach Kyle Dubas said. “Our goaltender was outstanding as it has been all trip. The way he’s playing, if he sees it, he’s stopping it.”
Moritz Seider had an early goal for Detroit, finishing a four-shot flurry, but the lead didn’t last long. Matthews’ wrist shot beat Ville Husso glove side a few minutes later and Nylander scored on a power play to put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-1 midway through the first period.
Sandin put Toronto up 4-1 midway through the period, chasing Husso.
Detroit’s breakout goalie was pulled from a game for the first time this season after giving up four goals on 13 shots. He entered with an NHL-high three shutouts, matching his previous career total.
“I’m sure Huss would probably want three of the four back,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “But it is tough to not see much action at all in your end, and then you’ve got Matthews and Marner in the inner slot. We didn’t give up many chances, but the ones we did give up were too good.”
Alex Nedeljkovic entered in relief and stopped all 12 shots he faced for the Red Wings, who had won a season-best four consecutive games.
Midway through the third, Seider’s shot was redirected by teammate Adam Erne in front to pull the Red Wings within two.
“We had a lot of chances and we just didn’t get the puck in the net,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “Give them credit, especially Murray, but we had looks in the slot and looks all around it. We just didn’t capitalize and they did.”
Detroit pulled Nedeljkovic late for an extra skater, but couldn’t score against a team missing banged-up players on the blue line such as Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie.
“We talked about tightening up our defense, and we’ve done a good job of it,” Marner said.
A lot of fans crossed the border to attend the game at Little Caesars Arena. When Detroit fans chanted, “Let’s Go Red Wings,” Toronto fans responded, “Go Leafs, Go!”
Toronto extended its point streak against Detroit to 14 games. … The Maple Leafs closed the month 6-0 on the road. … The Red Wings had a season-high 44 shots, and lost for the first time in regulation this season after outshooting an opponent. … Seider had a goal and an assist, giving him six points in five games.
Maple Leafs: Host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
Red Wings: Play the Buffalo Sabres at home Wednesday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Having scored at World Cup, Canadian men now look to get one final result
Canadian defender Alistair Johnston knew something good was coming when he saw Tajon Buchanan launch his cross into the Croatian penalty box.
“We have a saying — we like to call it a ‘goal ball,”‘ said Johnston, a CF Montreal fullback/wingback who can deliver a fine cross in his own right. “As soon as it leaves your foot, as the guy who’s put in the cross, you just know that ball’s got goal written all over it. As soon as it left his foot, I said that in my head — goal ball. And Fonzie dunked on it.
“What a moment. You could just feel the energy. I think if you checked everyone’s GPS, that was probably the top speed, the max speed ever reached from every single one of the players, getting over to that corner flag [to celebrate with goal-scorer Alphonso Davies]. It was just a feeling of ‘Ah, we’ve finally done it. We’ve finally scored at the world’s biggest stage and we do belong.'”
“Of course, we would have liked the rest of the night to go a little bit better, but it was a special moment than none of us will forget any time soon.”
Davies’s goal — Canada’s first ever at the men’s World Cup — was the high point of the evening for Canada on Sunday at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar. No. 12 Croatia, runner-up to France four years ago in Russia, rallied with two goals late in the first half and added two more after the break for a 4-1 win that ended Canada’s hopes of advancing to the knockout round at the 32-team tournament.
Buchanan’s cross curled away from goal and was met by Davies’s head as the Bayern Munich star soared high above Croatian defender Josip Juranovic, ending Canada’s 36-year wait for a goal after being blanked in three straight games in its only other trip to the men’s soccer showcase in 1986.
The goal came 27 years after Helen Stoumbos scored Canada’s first-ever goal at the women’s World Cup in a 3-2 loss to England in June 1995.
The time of Davies’s score has been officially pegged at 68 seconds into Sunday’s match. Canada Soccer initially had it at 67 but FIFA says it came one second later.
Either way, it ranks as the fastest goal in a group stage match at the World Cup since American Clint Dempsey scored after 29 seconds against Ghana in 2014. And it is the fastest goal to date at the tournament in Qatar.
It also removed Canada from the list of World Cup participants yet to score, leaving Congo (competing as Zaire), China, Indonesia (competing as Dutch East Indies) and Trinidad and Tobago stuck on zero.
Goalkeeper Milan Borjan started the play with a goal kick that found Cyle Larn at midfield. The Besiktas striker controlled the ball with his foot and sent it over to Buchanan, who surged forward, taking two touches before lifting his head and seeing Davies headed into the box like an Exocet missile.
“Not the outcome we wanted, but we’ll keep fighting for everyone,” Davies said in a social media post to his 5.1 million followers on Instagram and 489,600 on Twitter. “Happy to be able to score my first WC goal for the team and to be able to put my name in the history books. Couldn’t have done it without my brothers!”
While Davies has spoken to FIFA TV and rights-holders like TSN, Canada Soccer has not made the 22-year-old from Edmonton available to the travelling Canadian media since Davies arrived in Doha on Nov. 18.
The goal by Davies was his 13th for Canada, the first by header. Davies’s left foot accounted for 11 of his Canadian goals. A 12th came off his body.
Johnston believes Davies may use his head more often in the future.
“He’s the best athlete arguably in world football. He’s unbelievable. There’s no reason why he can’t be dominant [in the air]. You saw what he did. He put that [Croatian defender] on a poster, unfortunately for him.
“Fonzie has that ability, And I think he’d like to add that to his repertoire. You put in crosses like that, it’s an invitation to go head the ball.”
Midfielder Ismael Kone, the only other Canadian player to speak to the media on Monday, wasn’t so sure.
“Fonzie? I don’t think so,” he said.
The 41st-ranked Canadians, the second team to be eliminated from the tournament after host Qatar, wrap up play Thursday against No. 22 Morocco at 10 a.m. ET.
Having drawn kudos for its bright, energetic performance in a 1-0 loss to No. 2 Belgium and scored against Croatia, the Canadians are now looking to get a result against Morocco.
Losing at the World Cup is getting old. And having to wait another four years for a chance to get in the win column is no fun.
According to Opta, Canada is the third team to lose its first five World Cup matches, joining Mexico (which lost its first nine) and El Salvador (lost six).
Head coach John Herdman, who riled Croatia with his fiery words to his team in the wake of the Belgium loss, apparently was more restrained when he gathered the players for a post-game huddle Sunday night.
“It was a little different that the post-match huddle against Belgium,” Johnston said with a smile. “There was no quotes that are going to go all over the world.”
The message was put the game behind you, learn from your mistakes and focus on Morocco.
“We’ve made a ton of people very proud back home and we need to continue to keep our head held high and play for them,” said Johnston. “Because that’s what this World Cup is about. It’s about showing your country in the best light to the rest of the world.”
There was more to celebrate Monday for the players as friends and family visited the Canadian training centre.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Brazil beats Switzerland to advance Casemiro
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Struggling and unconvincing without Neymar on the field, Brazil still played well enough to secure a spot in the next round of the World Cup.
The five-time champions overcame the absence of their injured star to beat Switzerland 1-0 with a late goal Monday and make it to the round of 16 with a match to spare in Group G.
“Of course we miss a player like Neymar,” Brazil coach Tite said. “The team loses a lot without him. But we also have other players who can get the job done, as we saw it today.”
Casemiro got the only goal in the 83rd minute of a game in which Brazil had difficulties creating scoring chances without its main playmaker. The defensive midfielder scored with a one-timer into the far corner, using the outside of his right foot for a shot that deflected slightly off defender Manuel Akanji.
“We knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. We had to be patient,” Casemiro said. “Out first objective was to advance and we achieved that.”
Neymar stayed at the team’s hotel to treat a right ankle injury sustained in the opener in Qatar. He posted an Instagram story showing him watching the match on television while undergoing treatment on his foot.
“Casemiro has been the best defensive midfielder in the world for a long time,” Neymar wrote on Twitter.
Team doctors have not yet given a timetable for Neymar’s return — or said if he will return at all. Vinícius Júnior said Neymar also had a fever on Monday, though the team had not officially said anything about it.
“We know that Neymar is a great player and that he makes a difference,” Brazil defender Marquinhos said. “In difficult moments he takes on the responsibility and creates the opportunities, but we showed once again that we have quality players to make up for his absence.”
The win gave Brazil six points from two matches, leaving Switzerland with three. Serbia and Cameroon, which drew 3-3 earlier Monday, have one point each.
Switzerland, which had no attempts on target, needs a win in the last match against Serbia to guarantee its spot in the next stage. A draw may be enough depending on the match between Brazil and Cameroon.
The result extended Brazil’s unbeaten run in the group stage to 17 matches, with 14 wins and three draws. It has lost only one of its last 29 group games, with the last defeat coming against Norway in 1998 in France.
Switzerland had lost only two of its last 13 group matches at the World Cup.
“I can’t really blame the team, it did a good job for quite some time,” Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said through a translator. “I don’t think it’s a disappointment. We have a lot of good takeaways here. The next game is something we have control over.”
It was an even match early on, with both teams trying to control the game but not creating many significant chances. Without Neymar, Brazil struggled to get near Switzerland’s area until Casemiro’s goal. The assists came from Vinícius Junios and Rodrygo, the Real Madrid players who until recent had Casemiro as their teammate. Casemiro now plays for Manchester United.
Tite replaced Neymar with Fred, Casemiro’s teammate at Man United, freeing up Lucas Paquetá to play closer to the attack. Éder Militão, who plays as a central defender at Real Madrid, came in for Danilo in the right back position, instead of veteran Dani Alves.
With Paquetá not being able to create much for Brazil, Tite began the second half with Rodrygo in the team. Richarlison, who scored both of Brazil’s goals in the opener, was not as effective and was substituted in the second half.
Vinícius Júnior thought he had given Brazil the lead with a shot from inside the area after a pass by Casemiro in the 64th, but video review determined there was offside in the buildup. Few had noticed it until the VAR call was announced at Stadium 974.
The lights dimmed for a few seconds before halftime at Stadium 974, prompting a brief stoppage in play. Brazil was about to take a corner when it suddenly started turning dark at the temporary stadium.
Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni
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