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'It's different now': Brady Tkachuk won't go to brother's playoff games

Chase Agnello-Dean / National Hockey League / Getty

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk was quite the cheerleader for Matthew's Calgary Flames during last season's playoffs but won't be doing the same for his brother's new team this spring.

"Unfortunately, the Florida (Panthers) faithful will not be experiencing my presence," he said during a recent appearance on the "Got Yer Back" podcast. "You know, it's different now - same division, it's just a different vibe this year with us. We were so close.

"Last year, we were out pretty early in February, and we weren't really expected to be there, either. It's usually my downtime, too. ... I might be in Florida, but I'm definitely not going to any of their games."

The Panthers had to scratch and claw for their spot in the playoffs after winning the Presidents' Trophy last season. They officially clinched their ticket Tuesday after the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres lost their respective games against the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils.

The Senators were eliminated from playoff contention last Thursday following a 7-2 loss to the Panthers.

In late March, Keith Tkachuk made waves when he called his eldest son's Panthers "soft," adding that they should be more like Brady's hard-nosed Senators.

The Panthers went 6-0-1 after those comments, good for the second-best record in that span. Brady said his father is "taking credit" for Florida's turnaround.

"I just got a text (Tuesday) night after Chicago beat Pittsburgh, and all he said was, 'You're welcome.' ... He's been saying to me, 'If they get in, I'm Executive of the Year.'

"He's definitely taking this one and laughing about it. I mean, they did it, so he's definitely proud of Matthew and everything he's done."

Matthew is gearing up for his fifth playoff appearance and his first in Sunrise. Brady, meanwhile, has yet to get a taste of the postseason.

Ottawa has missed the playoffs for six straight years, but its captain emphasized that the 2022-23 campaign was "different."

"This year, just having that taste of what we want as a team and as an organization and not making it but going to the very end, it hurts a lot more this year," he said.

"Definitely more disappointing. For me, the experience of the highs and lows and just taking it one game at a time and just learning throughout that process. … I know it's going to help our team in the long run."

Both Tkachuk brothers enjoyed career years. Brady has 82 points in 81 contests, while Matthew put up 108 in 78 matchups.

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