No matter how you feel about Matthew Tkachuk as a player, you have to admire the kid’s moxie.
The Flames rookie has quickly earned a reputation as a dirty player for plays like this, and this and this. He’s also proven to be an elite pest with no regard for who his opponent is, as he showed by stealing the stick of lovable Norris candidate Brent Burns.
His run of reckless play finally caught up to him when he was suspended two games for elbowing Drew Doughty in the face on March 19.
Doughty rightfully didn’t appreciate getting popped in the chops and had this to say about Tkachuk’s antics a day after the incident.
“He’s a pretty dirty player, that kid,” Doughty said. “To be a rookie and play like that is a little surprising. I don’t know exactly what happened because I got hit in the head, but I thought he elbowed me. I can’t tell you for sure, so I’m not going to say if I think anything should happen, but whatever it was, it hurt pretty bad, and it’s going to hurt for a little bit.”
With the two teams set to meet again Wednesday, Tkachuk showed off his strong trolling skills on the eve of the anticipated grudge match by essentially calling Doughty a whiner.
“I expected more from him, honestly, than to go right to the media and start complaining after a loss,” Tkachuk told Postmedia. “But he’s a good player. He’s a good enough player where he doesn’t have to worry about any of that stuff. He’s a skilled guy and everything like that, and he’s won a couple of Cups.
“He’s still a real good player, so I don’t think he’ll be too worried about it tomorrow.”
Those comments surely won’t sit well with the Kings, but it doesn’t sound like Tkachuk is too worried about having a target on his back.