Breaking Down the Tkachuk – Kassian Brawl

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Photo credit: Dinur Blum (@Rabbi_d) via Flickr

Fights happen in hockey. Hockey is a very emotional sport. With that being said, what happened last night between Edmonton’s Zack Kassian and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk? In this article, I will break down what happened, then I will give my personal take on it all.

What Even Happened?

What happened? During last night’s edition of the Battle of Alberta, in which the Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers, there were questionable events that took place.

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk seemed to target Oilers forward Zack Kassian. Tkachuk delivered some penalty-worthy hits to the head, received no penalties as he should have, and Kassian retaliated.

https://twitter.com/HockeyCentraI/status/1216221478653440001

In the video above, you can see two of Tkachuk’s hits to the head of Kassian. Kassian was visibly upset, both hits were not called as penalties, when they clearly should have.

Next in the video, Kassian loses his temper and begins to fight Tkachuk. Before I give my breakdown of the play, I will first say I am NOT a referee at ANY level.

In my opinion, the first hit, should have been called for a hit to the head, or a roughing call. Same thing for the second hit later on in the game. At this point, Tkachuk is in the wrong 100%. He should be suspended as it clearly was intended to injure Kassian.

When Kassian becomes the “villain” is when he loses his temper and begins swinging at Tkachuk. Kassian does not even let Tkachuk drop his gloves to fit. That’s an instigator penalty. He also pulls Tkachuk from the collar, which is the play that is currently under review for a suspension. Tkachuk was pulled down to the ice and continues to get beat on by Kassian.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, both players are in the wrong and I am surprised that Tkachuk is not being questioned for a suspension. I fully expect Kassian to be suspended. Let’s see what happens.


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