Friends, it’s no secret that Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk is a good hockey player. It’s also no secret that he has a bit of a reputation as an outright pain in the backside for other teams. In his remarks to the media on Sunday afternoon, Flames interim coach Geoff Ward defended his player.
#Flames head coach Geoff Ward on Tkachuk:
“I feel at this point in time I have to defend my player. Was there intent there to put his skate on Scheifele? No. There was no intent. I understand what Paul is doing. He’s trying to get an elite player on our team suspended.”
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) August 2, 2020
Ward was responding to comments to the media by Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice after an injury to Mark Scheifele in Game 1. Maurice characterized the hit by Tkachuk as intentional and dirty, as did a couple of his players.
Ward added that if it was Johnny Gaudreau involved in the play instead of Tkachuk, we’re not talking about it – alluding to Tkachuk’s reputation as a trouble-maker.
— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) August 2, 2020
Game 2 goes Monday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. MT in Edmonton.