Agitating Tkachuk versus the Nation

by | Jan 27, 2021

Agitating Tkachuk versus the Nation

by | Jan 27, 2021

If the byproduct of a condensed season with play limited to the same six to seven opponents, is that by the third meeting–you’ll be sick of their faces coming at you in the corner or in front of the net, allow me to re-introduce one Matthew Tkachuk.

For the Calgary winger has debunked this theory. If you do manage to go a shift or period without No. 19 getting under your skin, you’re either spared a matchup or non-essential to what’s happening. Seemingly wherever a scrum, board battle, loose puck or space in front is available, there’s Tkachuk.

That kind of presence has worked out well for the Flames agitator who has a ton of skill to boot. Last season, he led the team in goals (23) and points (61) while leading the club in penalty minutes, too. It was a follow-up on his breakout 2018-19 season 2018-19 season, he scored 34 goals and 77 points. His in-your-face style became a focal point in last season’s edition of the Battle of Alberta.

This season it figures to be Tkachuk versus Canada, evidenced again by Tuesday’s proceedings in the dying seconds of a 4-3 defeat to the Maple Leafs, when Jake Muzzin shot a puck at his direction.

Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Calgary Flames celebrates with his teammates

It wasn’t appreciated, though not unusual. To see Tkachuk involved is simply what we’ve come to expect. And as fans in Toronto, Edmonton and across the North get re-acquainted with the skilled pugnacist, who is the son of a 16-year NHL skilled pugnacist, it’s also a time to remind you of the 2022 Olympics.

After missing out in 2018, NHL talent will return to the Games in 2022 (of course that could very well be under review due to COVID-19, postponing the 2020 Summer games and threatening to push them back even further). Whenever it does come, the St. Louis, Mo., native should be an important part to a United States’ team.

So let’s say it’s a top-role. Does Tkachuk line up at wing opposite Patrick Kane? Brock Boeser? Brady Tkachuk, the younger brother and current Ottawa Senator? Likely one of Auston Matthews or Jack Eichel down the middle and you have a line that can frustrate and produce against the Canadians, among others.

You just know that’s the headache they’d put on Connor McDavid, well-versed in withstanding in the Calgary-Edmonton rivalry that figures to implode at some point this season. Familiarity seems to do that.

And Canada is getting its firsthand taste of what ’22 could bring.


Inconsistency Plagues the Kings

Inconsistency Plagues the Kings

The LA Kings might be a bit artificially high in their placement in the Pacific right now, having played as many as three games more than the teams which surround them. But they are on pace to make the playoffs, bolstered in part by their good home record, which stands at 6-4-0. Their last ten games, in addition, notch them at 5-3-2.

read more
Judging overreactions at the NHL's quarter mark: 70 goals for McDavid, Bruins the Cup favorite?

With around 20 games in the books for all 32 teams, the hot takes are flying. What's real and what's not? We're here to break it all down. [...]

When will Alex Ovechkin reach 800 goals? Upcoming games, plus highlights

The Washington Capitals star is projected to reach the 800-goal mark this season. Follow along as he chases down this accomplishment. [...]

Bruins win in OT, set NHL record in the process

The Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime Friday, setting the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with the win. [...]

Preds postpone 2 games due to water main break

The Nashville Predators postponed home games scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of a water main break that soaked Bridgestone Arena. [...]

Maple Leafs legend, Hall of Famer Salming dies

Toronto Maple Leafs legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming has died. He was 71 and living with Lou Gehrig's disease. [...]

Leafs end Devils' team record-tying 13-game run

The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped New Jersey's 13-game winning streak on Wednesday night, 2-1, leaving the Devils one win shy of a franchise record. [...]

Rangers trade enforcer Reaves to Wild for pick

The Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Wild on Wednesday for a 2025 fifth-round pick. [...]

Maple Leafs put D Rielly (knee) on injured reserve

The injury-riddled Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury on Tuesday, a day after the veteran was hurt in a collision with… [...]

Bergeron reaches 1,000th point with assist in win

Patrice Bergeron got his 1,000th career point with a second-period assist, becoming the 94th player in NHL history to reach the milestone. [...]

'This kid's a player': Matty Beniers is making a big impact in Seattle

The 20-year old center is excelling on and off the ice and appears on his way to becoming a franchise cornerstone for the Kraken. [...]

Ever wonder what it would be like if your everyday car was a ZAMBONI?!?!?

Wonder no longer…

Check out The Zambonis' latest hit, "Slow Whip"!