The Oilers went into Calgary to conclude their 5-game road trip with a battle for 1st place in the Pacific Division last night. Calgary got the better of the Oilers this time, but that is not what everyone is talking about a day later.
We’re talking about the antics of the Red Turtle.
Matthew Tkachuk targeted Zack Kassian with two blindside hits behind the Calgary net. After Kassian picked himself up off the ice after having his helmet knocked off twice by Tkachuk, he decided to grab Tkachuk and start feeding him punches.
Tkachuk didn’t drop his gloves like a man would. He used his gloves to protect his face like a little bitch.
The first hit was on a wrap around. Kassian was skating behind the net, and he made a move for the front of the net. Kassian made a hockey play in an attempt to score a goal.
It is incumbent upon players to ensure the safety of other players when they are out there. Hockey is a contact sport. Legal hits are a part of the game, but there are some legal hits that are considered to be cheap because they can be so dangerous. Lighting a guy up when he’s coming around the net for a wrap-around is one of those hits! Scottie Upshall Tweeted similar sentiments earlier today, so I know I’m not alone there.
Joakim Nygard had 3 wrap around chances against Montreal, and nobody lit him up! Tkachuk was simply looking for a reason to light Kassian up.
That first hit was cheap for that reason. On top of that, the principal point of contact was Kassian’s head. It wasn’t even legal! The fact that no penalty was assessed for that hit is ridiculous, and it’s a joke that the Department of Player Safety is not going to look at that hit. Kassian had every right to be pissed off after that hit.
Then the second hit happened.
Kassian was once again skating with the puck behind the net. Mark Giordano was marking Kassian, and he was very close to him. Tkachuk came flying in from the other side and leveled Kassian. It was similar in style to the first hit because Kassian was skating behind the net going one way, and Tkachuk came in from the other side to light him up. The difference was the second one wasn’t a wrap-around attempt.
That one wasn’t as cheap, but it was still cheap because Kassian was engaged in a one-on-one battle with another defender. This was technically a legal hit because Tkachuk made contact with Kassian’s shoulder. Tkachuk was the second man in on that play though. Giordano did not need help from Tkachuk there. Tkachuk had absolutely no reason to hit Kassian there! His intent was light Kassian up!
The intent was the same on both hits. Tkachuk was targeting Kassian on both plays. Tkachuk showed absolutely no respect for the safety of Kassian on either of those hits.
Why was he targeting Kassian?
It’s because Kassian tried to fight Tkachuk last year after he got involved with McDavid and Draisaitl earlier in that game. Kassian grabbed Tkachuk and started punching him, and Tkachuk hid in his little shell in the fetal position, like a little bitch. Kassian got a bunch of penalties, and Tkachuk got nothing.
He knew that Kassian would likely react that way if he targeted him… and he was right.
It ended up costing Kassian 14 minutes in penalties last night. The Oilers gave up the game-winning goal on that 4-minute powerplay. Tkachuk being a piece of shit basically won Calgary the game.
He was running around throwing dangerous hits on Kassian just to get a reaction out of him. Guys that think like that and play like that piss me off! It pisses me off even more when it works like it did last night. It’s reckless bull shit that I don’t think should have a place in the game. Brad Marchand licking guys or Corey Perry getting away with slashes is one thing, but Tkachuk running around throwing dangerous hits is another thing all together. It’s not the hitting that I have a problem with, it’s the predatory nature of the hits and the fact that Tkachuk does it just to piss off opponents. That’s not worth jeopardizing someone’s career over!
Kassian’s reaction was selfish and it ultimately cost his team a win last night, but I have absolutely no problem with the fact that he did what he did. My problem is that Tkachuk still has all of his teeth today!
The fireworks continued post-game. Kassian called Tkachuk a pussy in his post-game interview. He said that it was clear that Tkachuk was targeting him, and that players need to answer the bell once in a while if they are going to throw hits like that. He’s totally right on that. If you’re going to be a cheap piece of shit, you had better be willing to fight and back it up.
The Red Turtle turtled, like a little bitch.
Tkachuk said that Kassian should “stay off the tracks” if he doesn’t want to get hit that way, as if to say that Kassian put himself in dangerous positions that Tkachuk simply took advantage of. That’s bull shit! Kassian got hit making a wrap around and while he was protecting a puck from Giordano. Those aren’t examples of Kassian putting himself in dangerous situations. Those are plays that any player would make multiple times on any given night. Nygard had two or three wrap around attempts like that in Montreal, and nobody lit him up. Guys protect pucks along the boards every shift, and they don’t get lit up. Those hits are on Tkachuk, not Kassian.
Tkachuk said that he wouldn’t fight Kassian because that trade-off would hurt his team. Kassian also said that Tkachuk said that he wouldn’t fight him last year because he was a fourth liner. It’s clear that Tkachuk has no respect for Kassian as a player. Sure, Tkachuk is a better player than Kassian and I understand the trade-off that Tkachuk talked about; but he shouldn’t be targeting guys that he has no intention of fighting! He’s classless.
The reality is that Kassian would kick the living shit out of Tkachuk in a fight. Tkachuk is trying to play it off like he’s a brilliant strategist, but he’s really a cheap pussy.
Anyway, none of it matters now because it’s in the past and we can’t change it. Tkachuk is going to Tkachuk. There’s nothing we can do about it now. All we can do as fans is wait anxiously for the next Battle of Alberta on January 29th!