Late in the second period of the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights game on Saturday, Evander Kane was assessed a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for his body blows and scrum with Keegan Kolesar of the Vegas Golden Knights. In a game that was heavily titled towards the Oilers after the first period, the Golden Knights refused to go down quietly, stirring the pot physically, with Kane and other Oilers more than willing to answer the bell.
In a post-game media scrum, Kane was asked about the altercation and his repeated shots to the body of a prone opponent and noted, “If you want to f — around, sometimes you’re going to find out.”
Since the game, the hockey world seems to be split on what should happen to Kane. Many are calling for the NHL to step in and offer up some supplemental discipline. Media scribes like Matt Larkin of Daily Faceoff wrote, “Evander Kane’s body punch attack on Kolesar was…something. Might go beyond just being “part of a fight.” I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear from the league about it. We’ll see.” However, he was quickly bombarded by other fans (most likely a heavy percentage of Oilers fans) who thought it was more than fair after Kolesar grabbed Kane from behind and instigated the action. Kolesar is no stranger to controversy himself, having been a player with a history of hitting people while they’re down. Even Larkin’s own Daily Faceoff co-workers jumped on him for thinking this would be something the NHL would crack down on.
Kane Not Letting His Team Get Pushed Around
In Edmonton, Kane is viewed as somewhat of a hero. He didn’t score in the game, but his contributions were vital as the Oilers tried to maintain their sizeable lead, not be intimidated, and leave the game relatively injury free. Kane was among the first to step up, with Klim Kostin, Brett Kulak, Nick Bjugstad, and others not afraid to get in and get dirty. Edmonton was determined to not only win on the scoreboard but in a battle of toughness and Kane’s presence gives the Oilers a lot of swagger in that regard.
Was the body shots that Kane delivered over and over again a bit much? Maybe. Was it worthy of a suspension? Probably not. As Kane said, if you’re going to start something, you’re in a spot where you’ll need to be prepared to finish it. And, the fact that Kolesar was “defenseless” was only because he put himself in that position and took on someone that wasn’t about to back down.
Kane was assessed 14 minutes worth of penalties on the play. It would be surprising if the NHL said that wasn’t enough and brought forth more discipline after the fact.
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