In late April, former Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers forward Evgeny Artyukhin was a catalyst in a small-scale brawl between Russia and Finland at the Czech Hockey Games. Which, apparently, prepared him for more carnage at the IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.
Here is Artyukhin (No. 49) hitting every Czech player he could target during the second period of Russia's 3-2 qualifying round loss on Sunday — running Karel Rachunek of the KHL, Martin Havlat of the Minnesota Wild and Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators:
Dude is one metal helmet and a catchphrase away from being Juggernaut from "X-Men."
Halfway through the game, Russia's Yegveni Artyukhin — 196 centimetres, 112 kilograms — went on a hitting spree, checking three Czech players in the same shift, only two of whom had the puck. He was handed a two-minute interference penalty for his open-ice body check on Milan Michalek, who stayed on the ice for a good while — only to return for his next shift.
Oh, but the A-Train wasn't in the station yet. Witness this charge on former New York Rangers defenseman Karel Rachunek late in the second period that sent his head to the ice and blood flowing from it:
No penalty on Artyukhin, who ended the game with 4 PIMs on a pair of interference calls.
The Czechs won the game, 3-2, with Tomas Plekanec scoring the game-winner on a penalty shot after Russian defenseman Ilya Nikulin threw his stick in the third period. Obviously, Plekanec was able to convert the chance because he knew Artyukhin wasn't allowed on the ice to demolish him afterward. At least that's our theory.
- Evgeny Artyukhin
- Czech Hockey Games
- Karel Rachunek
- Milan Michalek
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Atlanta Thrashers
- Martin Havlat