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Oilers' Draisaitl, McDavid tied atop NHL scoring race after win at Boston – CBC.ca

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Edmonton goalie Mike Smith took a deep sigh when asked how it felt to finally get a victory. The Oilers had a little bit of help from the Boston Bruins, too.

Darnell Nurse and Gaetan Haas each had a second-period goal off poor Boston plays, Connor McDavid added an insurance score in the third after being stopped twice by Jaroslav Halak and the visiting Oilers beat the Bruins 4-1 on Saturday.

Smith made 35 saves for his first victory since Nov. 23rd as Edmonton won for the second time in five games (2-2-1). Leon Draisaitl added an empty-net goal.

“It’s been a while since me personally was in for a win,” Smith said after the pause. “Obviously you want to contribute to the team’s success. That was a great team effort by everyone.”

WATCH | McDavid scores a beauty:

Zack Kassian set up Connor McDavid for a gorgeous goal in Edmonton’s 4-1 win over the Bruins. 1:02
David Pastrnak scored his NHL-leading 31st goal for the Bruins, who have won just four times in their past 10 games. Halak made 22 saves.

It was just Boston’s second home loss in regulation (14-2-9).

‘I made a mistake and it went in’

“Against a team like that, obviously you’ve got to manage the puck a little better,” Boston centre David Krejci said. “They have good forwards. If you make them chase the puck a lot, they get frustrated. I don’t think we managed the puck well today.”

Nurse’s goal with 6.3 seconds left in the second gave the Oilers a 2-1 edge. He fired what looked like a relatively easy shot to handle from the left circle, but the puck slipped into the net between the post and Halak’s right shoulder.

“I don’t even know how it went in honestly,” Halak said. “I thought I was right there. Hockey is a game of mistakes. I made a mistake and it went in.”

McDavid cut down the slot after taking a pass from Zack Kassian and slipped a wrister into the net for his 23rd goal 1:48 into the third period.

The Oilers tied it 1-1 in the second when Boston winger Jake DeBrusk turned the puck over right in front of his own net — whiffing on a pass — and Haas slipped a shot under Halak 7:41 into the period.

“That was a gift,” Haas said, breaking into a laugh.

Halak denies McDavid twice

Edmonton has three points in the first two of a five-game road trip.

“We talked about playing a full 60 minutes and competing hard for the 60 minutes and building on the team things we’re doing right now,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “We capitalized on a couple of chances.”

Halak made a pair of splendid stops on McDavid in the opening period. On the first, he flashed his right pad when the centre came in alone down the left wing. The second was even better; the goalie quickly slid across the crease to block his wrister from the right circle at the end of a 2-on-1 break when McDavid had a wide-open shot after a cross-ice pass.

The Oilers entered the day with the league’s best penalty-killing unit on the road at 91 per cent, but the Bruins need just five seconds to score on their first opportunity.

With Draisaitl in the box for elbowing Torey Krug, Pastrnak fired a wrister from the left circle that hit the stick of Edmonton defenceman Kris Russell and popped into the right corner of the net under the crossbar 3:10 into the game, extending his point streak to 10 games.

Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are the first set of Boston teammates to reach 60 points before the team’s 45th game since Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito in 1974-75.

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Kevin Durant Didn't Previously Express Wish For Nets To Fire Steve Nash, Sean Marks – RealGM.com

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Kevin Durant met with Joe Tsai recently in London and it was revealed he expressed a lack of faith in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets. Durant reportedly issued an ultimatum that he is not interested in continuing with the Nets if Steve Nash remains as head coach and Sean Marks continues running the front office.

“The timing of it is also unusual,” said Brian Windhorst on Tuesday. “While star players have gotten coaches fired for decades and will get them fired for decades, he didn’t express this, as far as I’m aware to the Nets at the end of the season. And he didn’t express this to the Nets when he made his trade demand. So doing it now is a maneuver. A maneuver that I don’t think worked. 

“Because as I talk to teams out there, they don’t think his increased his trade value, they think this hurt his trade value.”

Windhorst also noted that Tsai statement of support for Nash and Marks also includes a sentence the league paid strong attention to stating “We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

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Thousands of tickets still available for world junior hockey tournament in Edmonton – CBC Sports

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Odd summer timing and an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada could be the reason thousands of tickets to the world junior championship are still available on the eve of the tournament, says an Edmonton professor.

Prof. Dan Mason, who teaches in the faculty of kinesiology, sport, and recreation at the University of Alberta, said when Canada hosts, there are usually so many fans who want to see the home team take the ice that they are willing to buy Hockey Canada’s packaged games that include teams that are not Canadian.

“So Latvia vs. Slovakia, for example, those games will be sold out as well because in order to get the tickets to watch Canada play, you have to buy a package that includes some of the other games,” he said on Friday.

“The fact that there are still Team Canada tickets available, that tells you the demand is much lower than it usually is for this kind of event.”

WATCH l World junior tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy:

World junior hockey tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy

7 hours ago

Duration 2:07

Ticket sales for the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton are below expectations as the tournament kicks of this week in the shadow of an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada.

The tournament runs from Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The initial 2022 championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., was called off Dec. 29 after just four days because of rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials, which forced game forfeitures.

The 10-country tournament will be minus Russia, barred from participating by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Holiday tradition

Around 1,500 tickets are still available for purchase on Ticketmaster to the first game between Czech Republic and Slovakia on Tuesday. About 1,300 tickets are available for the next day when Canada takes on Latvia. About 1,500 seats for the final game are also available with hundreds of other tickets to watch the 11-day tournament.

This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake … or do something summer-related.— Edmonton professor Dan Mason on poor ticket sales for an August world juniors

Mason said the timing of the games could be why interest is so low. The tournament typically runs over the Christmas holidays.

“Over the past 30 years or so, TSN has built the world juniors into this holiday event that people partake in,” he said.

“I watch it with my family over the [Christmas] break though so it’s kind of become part of our holiday tradition.

“This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake, go to the mountains or do something summer-related. I don’t think we’re willing to give up those plans to watch hockey.”

Many people could also be waiting for a former judge on the Supreme Court of Canada to begin independently reviewing Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership.

The review comes after members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a gala event, and after Hockey Canada reached a settlement.

“I think there’s people who weren’t sure if they would go or not, and maybe deciding not to go because of that,” Mason said.

The CEO of Explore Edmonton, which promotes tourism in the Alberta capital, said in an email the marketing organization paused its promotion of the games in response to the allegations.

“As the host city for the upcoming tournament, we continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada officials about their plans to address the need for change,” said Traci Bednard.

Mason said inflation and less disposable income could be other factors working against the tournament.

“Canada may be more focused on that player development piece than trying to sort of make money off of a tournament being held in the summer,” he said.

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Nets owner Tsai backs coach, GM amid reported Durant standoff – theScore

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Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks

Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.

The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.

The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.

The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.

The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.

Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.

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