Sports Flames' Tkachuk attempting to distance himself from feud with Kassian, Oilers
Tkachuk: If Kassian 'doesn't want to get hit, stay off the tracks'
Matthew Tkachuk had some advice for Zack Kassian after the Edmonton Oilers winger responded to a hard hit from the Calgary Flames forward with a series of pummeling blows. “If (Kassian) doesn’t want to get hit, then stay off the tracks," Tkachuk said according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis.“If (Kassian) doesn’t want to get hit, then stay off the tracks," Tkachuk said according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis. "I caught him three times there – you think he’d learn after the first one.
TORONTO — Matthew Tkachuk tried to pour cold water on his feud with Zack Kassian.
It didn't really work.
After not speaking to reporters following Wednesday's practice, the Calgary Flames' star winger and resident agitator made it clear some 24 hours later he once again wouldn't be answering questions concerning the continued fallout from Saturday's heated game with the Edmonton Oilers.
"We're not talking about them right now," Tkachuk said Thursday morning ahead of his team's matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs. "We play them sometime after (the all-star) break.
"You guys can ask us then."
Tkachuk says not fighting Kassian was ‘probably the right thing to do’
A master at steering his way through controversies like these, Matthew Tkachuk stood by his decision to avoid fighting Zack Kassian. The post Leafs’ attention to detail issues should be ‘easy to fix’ appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.In fact, he says a large number of NHLers would have done the same thing he did Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers tough guy.
Tkachuk rocked Kassian — a bruising six-foot-three, 211-pound forward — with two big and, according to the NHL, clean hits that twice sent Kassian's helmet flying in the latest testy instalment of the Battle of Alberta.
In response to the second body check, Kassian ragdolled Tkachuk to the ice and delivered a series of punches as Tkachuk turtled to protect his head.
The league responded by handing a two-game suspension to Kassian, who was critical of the six-foot-two, 202-pound Tkachuk for playing a physical style and then not accepting a challenge to fight.
Kassian doubled down after news of his punishment dropped, saying of Tkachuk: "You play with fire, eventually you're going to get burned."
The 28-year-old felt the hits were "predatory" in nature and warned that he has a "great memory."
Draisaitl: 'I'd probably get off the ice' if playing with Tkachuk at ASG
Warning: Story contains coarse language. Leon Draisaitl doesn't plan on putting aside personal grudges at the 2020 All-Star Game. The Edmonton Oilers star said Monday that if he and teammate Connor McDavid have to play with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk at the three-on-three All-Star Game tournament, he would "probably get off the ice," according to the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson. Draisaitl, McDavid, and Tkachuk will all be members of the Pacific Divison All-Star team. The game will be played on Jan. 25 in St. Louis.Tkachuk ignited the Battle of Alberta rivalry on Saturday by taking multiple runs at Oilers forward Zack Kassian.
"He messed with the wrong guy," Kassian said Tuesday. "I don't think he realizes we're in the same division."
"I'm a big boy, I love big-boy hockey," he added. "But if you play big-boy hockey, you're going to have to answer the bell every once in a while."
Kassian's first opportunity to return to action will be Jan. 29 against the Flames in Edmonton.
While clearly not wanting to add fuel to the smoldering embers, the 22-year-old Tkachuk danced around four separate questions Thursday morning as media members in one of hockey's biggest markets tried to probe how far he was willing to go on the topic.
"I don't let anything distract me," he said of being the centre of attention. "I just focus on what I have to focus on, what the team has to focus on."
Tkachuk is well-versed in getting under the skin of opponents — he's had plenty of run-ins with Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty — and this is no different.
Suspension for Oilers’ Kassian proves unpredictability of bans
It was anyone’s guess what the punishment would be for Zack Kassian after Saturday’s altercation with Matthew Tkachuk. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector offers a breakdown of the situation. The post WNBA, players reach tentative eight-year labour deal appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.We’re not saying George Parros’ people are always wrong. We are saying, however, that those who try to predict the length of the suspensions that the DoPS metes out usually are. (Including me.
"I don't listen to outside noise," he said. "We just go along with our business."
Flames interim head coach Geoff Ward, whose team visits the Ottawa Senators on Saturday before its nine-day bye-week/all-star game hiatus, said it's an asset to have Tkachuk's combination of skill and sandpaper.
"We had the same situation in Boston when I was there with Brad Marchand — high-talented guy, can play the agitator role real well," said Ward, an assistant with the Bruins for seven seasons. "You like having those guys on your team and you hate playing against them."
Leafs forward Jason Spezza, a full-time NHLer since 2003, said the fact the bubbling tension between the Flames and Oilers was still a topic of conversation five days later shows how much the game's changed.
"If you talk to guys that played 10, 15 years ago, those scrums happened every night," said Spezza, 36. "There was a lot more bad blood in the league, there was a lot more carryover from (playoff) series."
This bad blood, however, certainly doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.
Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl said earlier this week he'd "probably get off the ice" if forced to line up alongside Tkachuk — his Pacific Division teammate — at the upcoming all-star game's 3-on-3 tournament.
"It gives people an opportunity to promote the game, write stories," Ward added. "Both fanbases are into it. It makes for good conversation."
With the Flames and Oilers neck-and-neck in the standings, Ward said getting close to the line is what players like Tkachuk thrive one.
And it's not something he has any interest in seeing changed.
"It's part of their DNA," Ward said. "They look forward to big games and they look forward to having opportunities to make a difference.
"He's become an NHL player for reasons ... and part of that is the way that he plays."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Report: NHL warns Flames, Oilers; Parros expected to attend rematch .
The NHL is talking to both the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in an effort to ensure the Battle of Alberta doesn't get further out of hand. The NHL is talking to both the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in an effort to ensure the Battle of Alberta doesn't get further out of hand.
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