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Brewin Flames

Tkachuk/Kassian Feud

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Matthew Tkachuk, Zack Kassian talk big-time trash after brawl

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(The Department of Player Safety announced that 

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.)

Following 

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 and the Flames taking advantage for a 4-3 win vs. the Oilers, you’d wonder if Zack Kassian and 

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 settled down. Instead, the two added more fireworks by trading barbs after Tkachuk delivered hits and Kassian cascaded punches on the “young punk.”

A quick recap of the events

  • During the first period, Tkachuk leveled Kassian with a hard hit. It looked like Tkachuk made contact with Kassian’s head, but no penalty was called.
  • Late in the second, the big moment happened. Watch in the video above and you’ll see that Tkachuk landed another borderline check on Kassian. Kassian reacted with vengeance and furious anger, ragdolling Tkachuk around and delivering a vicious attack.
  • Tkachuk once again avoided penalties for his hits. Kassian received a misconduct, and most importantly, a double-minor for roughing.
  • The Flames ended up scoring the game-winning goal during their ensuing power play opportunities.

Kassian, Tkachuk trade trash talk after the game

If you want to cut to the chase and just see some of the main comments, the tweet below captures the gold. Just be warned: the language is a little, maybe, blue from Kassian in particular? You may smell wafts of toxic masculinity, or at least “locker room talk.” Earmuff your kids, in other words.

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Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk continue the hatred in the post-game

 

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Glorious, glorious, mutual disdain.

If you’d rather not click on video:

  • Kassian called Tkachuk a “young punk” and then a-not-family-friendly p-word. Kassian then accused Tkachuk of dodging fights with him, claiming that the old excuse of Kassian being “a fourth-liner” no longer applies.
  • More fun talk from Kassian revolves around how much he wishes this was a playoff series where the two teams would just keep bashing heads in a compressed period of time. Allow me to request more Battles of Alberta, please.
  • Tkachuk gets the check and mate, though. First, Tkachuk said that if Kassian doesn’t want to get hit, “stay off the tracks.” Tkachuk wondered why Kassian didn’t “learn” after the first time.
  • Tkachuk turned the knife big time at the end of his statement, saying that if Kassian reacts and takes a penalty, “we’ll take the power play, we’ll take the game-winner, and we’ll move on to first place.”
  • Ouch. Tkachuk’s barb was so good it needed a reactionary bullet point.

It wasn’t just those two flapping gums, either. Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg reports that Flames defenseman 

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 razzed Kassian after the game.

“They’ve got a lot of pretenders out there. It’s really nice to beat those guys,” Andersson said 

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“That’s one of the biggest coward moves I’ve ever seen from Kassian. We make guys like that pay. That was a coward move…that’s the kind of player he is.”

Comments spicy enough to burn your tongue.

Kassian can get a swing at Tkachuk soon enough

Feel free to disagree, but I chalk this up as either Tkachuk 2 or Tkachuk 1, Kassian 0.

Tkachuk correctly stated that the Flames are now in first place in the Pacific, and they’ve won five in a row. The Oilers, meanwhile, sit as the West’s first wild card.

Kassian gets something reasonably close to his wish. While the two teams don’t face off again in the next week, they do lock horns again soon. The teams end January and begin February with a home-and-home set. Then they finish the 2019-20 regular season with a game in Calgary on April 4.

The Flames won the first two games in the season series in 2019-20, so they’re thriving by the metric of “Living well is the best revenge.” Will Kassian get the best of Tkachuk yet? I have no clue, but I’m ordering up as much popcorn as I can find for their future meetings, either way.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26

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Is there really a feud though?

Don't get me wrong, hockey could use some more really intense rivalries (and if you look around the site, I have been a proponent of the Battle of Alberta meaning something again), and this game certainly had that, especially between the players mentioned.

But unless this goes on for the rest of the season and it truly becomes "a thing", particularly if it spills into some sort of playoff series, just seems to me that this is Tkachuk doing Tkachuk things to other players.
Kassian, Doughty, you name him and Tkachuk will get under his skin if he can.

That all said, I'd have to agree that Tkachuk has gotten the better of the exchanges so far.
Funny thing is, Kassian has always been that 4th liner type, but since playing with skilled players, especially McDavid and/or Draisaitl, his visbility as a top six guy has been raised......AND he seems to have found better success actually playing hockey rather than grinding, smashing, and generally knuckle dragging.

I think a player like Tkachuk sees that, and does everything he can to get Kassian playing like a Neanderthal again instead of a hockey player, thus diminishing Kassian's value to the Oilers.
But, like I said, that sort of tactical approach is par the course for Tkachuk....whether its Kassian or anybody else he feels he can derail.

Tkachuk, much like a guy like Patric Hornqvist is a very skilled player who is doubly frustrating to deal with because he CAN play hockey and mixes in very effective agitator tactics.

Well, whether an actual feud or not, this certainly should raise interest for the next meeting.
But a playoff series would ultimately cement this.

From Kassian's point of view, I'd be careful about following Tkachuk too far down the rabbit hole.
He shouldn't take any crap from Tkachuk, obviously, but this whole war of words, agitation, get you thinking about things other than hockey is right up Tkachuk's alley, while Kassian is still a tough on ice player, but has maximized his productive value.
Which he could see diminish if he buys too much into what Matt Tkachuk is selling.

In straight up fisticuffs, I am inclined to give Kassian the advantage, though I certainly don't want to discount Matt...he is clearly tough as he is aggravating, but Kassian is a known quantity in the tough guy department.
But somehow, I also don't think Tkachuk cares whether Kassian is actually tougher than him or not....all he cares about are the game results, and in that regard, yes, he does have the upper hand so far.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26

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Personally, I think that first hit was a headshot, and Tkachuk should receive supplemental discipline. I don’t know how Toronto sees these things, but for me, my rule is that if you were to remove the head and the neck from the victim’s body and the same hit was made, would it be more of a miss that a hit? If it would be more of a miss, that is targeting the head, and it has no business in our game.

 

Some might say he got his shoulder, but I disagree. Watch his neck flex as the hip collides with it. Seriously, that kind of hit can end a career. I can’t believe it if there is not supplemental discipline.

 

I am NOT saying that Tkachuk intentionally targeted the head. His intent may have been a hip check to the shoulder, but he missed. He should pay for that miss.

 

JMHO

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48 minutes ago, SpikeDDS said:

Personally, I think that first hit was a headshot, and Tkachuk should receive supplemental discipline. I don’t know how Toronto sees these things, but for me, my rule is that if you were to remove the head and the neck from the victim’s body and the same hit was made, would it be more of a miss that a hit? If it would be more of a miss, that is targeting the head, and it has no business in our game.

 

Some might say he got his shoulder, but I disagree. Watch his neck flex as the hip collides with it. Seriously, that kind of hit can end a career. I can’t believe it if there is not supplemental discipline.

 

I am NOT saying that Tkachuk intentionally targeted the head. His intent may have been a hip check to the shoulder, but he missed. He should pay for that miss.

 

JMHO

 

I really have no horse in this. I'm not a fan, really, of either team but actually kind of like Tkachuk. 

 

That first hit was absolutely a head shot.  I have no idea why there was no penalty, let alone something from the league afterward. 

 

I have no idea what the league is looking at anymore. It's utterly pathetic. 

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@ruxpin

 

I have no skin in the game for either player. And I love a good, legal, destructive hit maybe more than many do. Loved watching almost all of Kronwall’s work, because almost all of the time, his hits, though heavy on the head were through the body as well, and were a result of the opponent simply playing with his head down.

 

But this was nothing like those hits. If Kissick’s head and neck were removed, it would have been a glance hit on the shoulder at most.

 

Until hits like this are dealt with using heavy consequences, it is impossible to argue that the NHL is really serious about head injury issues. I guess it’s gonna take losing a superstar before they come to their senses. You would think that Crosby would have scared them enough. Nope.

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3 minutes ago, SpikeDDS said:

Loved watching almost all of Kronwall’s work, because almost all of the time, his hits, though heavy on the head were through the body as well, and were a result of the opponent simply playing with his head down.

 

I'm probably one of the vast minority of non-Wings fans that actually liked Kronwall.  There was art to what he did.   Often, it was simply a thing of beauty.   I guess that's in the eye of the beholder, but it was art to me.

 

Agree with everything you said.

If they don't start enforcing this uniformly, you have to figure they are guaranteeing a loss in an eventual NFL-style lawsuit.  It should NEVER be based on whether the recipient was injured.  You got lucky he wasn't, grow some and punish the damn hit.

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Absolutely lousy officiating as Tkachuk clearly delivered a head shot to Kassian, that said no way Kassian doesn't do a game or two for this, Tkachuk refused to drop the gloves (or even his stick) and took the pummeling from Kassian which seemed to enrage Kassian all the more.

 

 Dick move by Tkachuk to start it and a bigger one by Kassian to go full on WWE after the second hit which IMHO was clean as could be although brutal. 

 

 So a game or two seems right.

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4 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

Absolutely lousy officiating as Tkachuk clearly delivered a head shot to Kassian, that said no way Kassian doesn't do a game or two for this, Tkachuk refused to drop the gloves (or even his stick) and took the pummeling from Kassian which seemed to enrage Kassian all the more.

 

 Dick move by Tkachuk to start it and a bigger one by Kassian to go full on WWE after the second hit which IMHO was clean as could be although brutal. 

 

 So a game or two seems right.


See, this is what I don’t get—you’ve got three people here who love the game, look with unbiased eyes and see the EXACT same things. And yet Toronto and the officials don’t see it!

 

Now, I’ll cut the on-ice officials some slack. Stuff happens so fast, they CAN’T see everything. And because there was no injury, they COULD second guess what they thought their eyes saw, if they saw it. “Maybe he DID get the shoulder.” 

 

But there is no excuse for Toronto not getting this right. I see that neck flex, and both players should thank their lucky stars that there wasn’t a cervical fracture or luxation. I really don’t get how they can turn a blind eye to this. If they let this go, what does it say to the next guy with such an opportunity? Must be OK, huh? No. It’s not. And that needs to be said with more than words.

 

For love of the game.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, SpikeDDS said:

If they let this go, what does it say to the next guy with such an opportunity? Must be OK, huh?

At the very least, it says to the players, "take your run and just pray they don't get hurt.  It won't be called if no one is hurt (or if their name is Konecny, it doesn't matter either way)." 

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Kass wont let this go. He fought many guys more than once in his Spitfire career. Stubborn SOB if there ever was one. Lifetime feud coming...gonna be fun to watch unfold. Cant wait to see Kass rag doll him again!

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1 hour ago, jammer2 said:

Kass wont let this go. He fought many guys more than once in his Spitfire career. Stubborn SOB if there ever was one. Lifetime feud coming...gonna be fun to watch unfold. Cant wait to see Kass rag doll him again!

 

This could be a problem for Kassian, given the overall results.

 

I got to believe Tkachuk will take the win in the game over Kassian "winning" the fight 10 times out of 10. If this feud takes Kassian off his game (and/or out of the game) he's not "winning" the feud.

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Thought both hits by Tkachuk were "not good", the first one I thought was worse...the second, i thought could have been an interference call...

Regardless. I liked seeing Kassian rag doll that douche.

I know Tkachuk won the war/battle that night,  I don't like him though so I was happy seeing him get beat up.

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Random thoughts in point form...

 

-I think that Tkachuk absolutely gave Kassian a headshot and that, once again, the refs screwed it up to start with, and they also allowed a charge (MT skated in hard from the faceoff dot to hit a guy aready engaged with somebody else) to be a non-call. I don't blame Kassian for being angry.

-Tkachuck absolutely got one over on Kassian, whose temper cost the Oilers dearly, because he should know better, because

-This isn't even the first time he and Tkachuk have gotten into it like this. From November 2018:

-That game, btw, was going in the Oilers favour up until that point, and after this they became far more interested in running around and hitting, putting themselves out of position, and they lost the game. Todd McLellan's game behind the bench.

-If Kassian hasn't yet figured out that Tkachuk won't fight him, then he'll never figure it out. The game was too close and there was too much on the line. He should have done what Gordie Howe used to do: take a number and bide his time.

-The NHL is a bush league. The refs allow guys like Tkachuk (who I think is a very good player) to play in this way, while calling few penalties, and then always make sure to punish the opposition when they can't take it anymore. For Tkachuk, it serves as reinforcement that he should continue in this way, because he's found the line, and nobody will make him stop.

 

TLDR - Tkachuk is a tool, Kassian is a dummy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, JR Ewing said:

This isn't even the first time he and Tkachuk have gotten into it like this. From November 2018:

 

I forgot about this.   Good call.

 

Tkachuk has Kass on the hook.    The problem is, like you said, he's learned he can get away with stuff and Kass will implode and cost his team.   The problem is that based on this past game, Tkachuk will take the license to continue it, and it's really only a matter of time until Kass is pretty badly hurt.   Simply because of the inexplicable malpractice on the part of the league.

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I don’t see show Toronto doesn’t see this as a head shot. Tkachuk knew what he was doing. ZK’s head was down, battling for the puck and went for the shot. For doing that, he should of been prepared the throw the gloves and not turtle. Ultimately, Tkachuk got the laugh that drew the PP that lead the the GW. Tkachuk is a good player but hovers around bush league player for plays like that.

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Tachuk is a petulant little girl in a boys body, just like his dad and his brother. He is the poster boy for where hockey is today. The game used to have a code, when it was played by men. He should not be celebrated for his behavior. He wouldn't have lasted a month in the NHL or the CHL 25 years ago. 

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Others around the hockey world have been weighing in...

 

Former ref Paul Stewart:

 

Quote

 


“In this instance, a winger (Tkachuk) deliberately took himself out of position and, from above the goal line, approached to deliver a body check to an opponent (Kassian) who was engaged below the goal line with a defender on Tkachuk’s team. It’s not a smart hockey play to make. It’s also not why body checks are designed to be a permitted part of the game. They exist to separate someone from the puck, not to separate him from his head when there’s no reasonable chance of bracing to safely receive the hit. Technically legal or not, Kassian could have been injured.”

As for whether or not Kassian should be punished as the aggressor in a fight where Tkachuk refused to respond, Stewart said: “I have a blog upcoming regarding Tkachuk and Kassian. Will say for now that situations such as these aren’t why the aggressor rule exists. It exists to protect defenseless players from an attack, not a provocateur who then turtles.”
 

 

 

Georges Laraques, recounting an on-ice pick-up hockey incident between him and Oilers Now announcer Bob Stauffer, who in the 1980s was a strong minor hockey player but never played junior or pro:

 

Quote

 


“I once hit Bob Stauffer with a hard body check in a skate cause he had chirped me in the past… Total yard sale. He got up, stuck me and challenged me to a fight. He was in his 40’s and fat, but he would’ve fought me…lol Tkachuk? Didn’t honor the code, even (Montreal’s Paul) Byron did last year.”
 

 

 

Teemu Selanne:

 

 

Scottie Upshall:

 

Ray Ferraro:

 

James Neal:

image.png

 

 

Edited by JR Ewing

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Screw James Neal. That cheap headhunting POS really has nerve commenting. 

 

The pipes under my toilet are too good for him. 

Edited by ruxpin
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2 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Screw James Neal. That cheap headhunting POS really has nerve commenting. 

 

The pipes under my toilet are too good for him. 

 

That guy gets away with a TON of stick work, and I don't know how.

 

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Never witnessed the first fight between them...but not surprised. Tkachuk is a turtling little weasel. If he pulled this crap in the original 6...he would have been pounded into retirement. If you wanna throw dirty hits, at least answer the bell for it. 

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19 hours ago, radoran said:

 

This could be a problem for Kassian, given the overall results.

 

I got to believe Tkachuk will take the win in the game over Kassian "winning" the fight 10 times out of 10. If this feud takes Kassian off his game (and/or out of the game) he's not "winning" the feud.

 

But that IS Kassians game...he's certainly not much of a player. I'm not a fan of either of them, but if you're going to play Tkachuks game you could at least stop turtling and answer for it. . 

Edited by flyercanuck

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19 hours ago, JR Ewing said:

.

-The NHL is a bush league. The refs allow guys like Tkachuk (who I think is a very good player) to play in this way, while calling few penalties, and then always make sure to punish the opposition when they can't take it anymore. For Tkachuk, it serves as reinforcement that he should continue in this way, because he's found the line, and nobody will make him stop.

 

 

 He's the Flames version of Marchand. Both can play, but they choose to be douchebags about it.

 

19 hours ago, JR Ewing said:

 

TLDR - Tkachuk is a tool, Kassian is a dummy.

 

 

 

 Hit the nail right on the head.

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7 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Screw James Neal. That cheap headhunting POS really has nerve commenting. 

 

The pipes under my toilet are too good for him. 

 

Well, if someone knows about headhunting and cheapshots, you couldn't find a more seasoned vet.

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Bottom line for me, the officials, by not disciplining that headshot, contributed to Kassian losing it. And lose it he did.

 

And I will hold the league responsible for when we see the next player wheeled off on a stretcher with a career-threatening injury, because they turned a blind eye to an obvious headshot. They are stoking this feud when it is already getting out of hand.

 

And if Tkachuk continues to deliver these kinds of cheap shots (the first, not so much the second) it will be the fault of the league for encouraging a cheap shot artist with a name.

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2-game suspension for Kassian.

 

Kassian is a cement head (possibly why he survived the hit), but this simply isn't right.

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    • 3
      Post
      Personally, I think that first hit was a headshot, and Tkachuk should receive supplemental discipline. I don’t know how Toronto sees these things, but for me, my rule is that if you were to remove the head and the neck from the victim’s body and the same hit was made, would it be more of a miss that a hit? If it would be more of a miss, that is targeting the head, and it has no business in our game.   Some might say he got his shoulder, but I disagree. Watch his neck flex as the hip co
    • 3
      Post
      2-game suspension for Kassian.   Kassian is a cement head (possibly why he survived the hit), but this simply isn't right.
    • 2
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      I really have no horse in this. I'm not a fan, really, of either team but actually kind of like Tkachuk.    That first hit was absolutely a head shot.  I have no idea why there was no penalty, let alone something from the league afterward.    I have no idea what the league is looking at anymore. It's utterly pathetic. 
    • 2
      Post
      I'm probably one of the vast minority of non-Wings fans that actually liked Kronwall.  There was art to what he did.   Often, it was simply a thing of beauty.   I guess that's in the eye of the beholder, but it was art to me.   Agree with everything you said. If they don't start enforcing this uniformly, you have to figure they are guaranteeing a loss in an eventual NFL-style lawsuit.  It should NEVER be based on whether the recipient was injured.  You got lucky he wasn't, grow so
    • 2
      Post
      Absolutely lousy officiating as Tkachuk clearly delivered a head shot to Kassian, that said no way Kassian doesn't do a game or two for this, Tkachuk refused to drop the gloves (or even his stick) and took the pummeling from Kassian which seemed to enrage Kassian all the more.    Dick move by Tkachuk to start it and a bigger one by Kassian to go full on WWE after the second hit which IMHO was clean as could be although brutal.     So a game or two seems right.
    • 2
      Post
      At the very least, it says to the players, "take your run and just pray they don't get hurt.  It won't be called if no one is hurt (or if their name is Konecny, it doesn't matter either way)." 

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