After the Edmonton Oilers battled the Calgary Flames on Wednesday in a heated match-up, the last person many might have expected to be cold and calculated was Zack Kassian. But, until Matthew Tkachuk challenged him a second time, and only after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sean Monahan had already fought did Kassian oblige Thachuk and seemingly end the personal battle between them.
That said, the war is far from over.
Wednesday’s tilt saw the Oilers earn a point but lose in the shootout to the Flames, but not before a lot happened. The previously mentioned bout between Hopkins and Monahan was unexpected. The attempted hit by Mark Giordano on Connor McDavid will be what everyone remembers.
Not too often does McDavid get upset and rarely is he livid. Late in the game on Wednesday, Giordano was beat inside out and in attempting to slow McDavid, stuck his hip out, connecting with McDavid’s shin on the same leg that left McDavid’s season, possibly his career in question. There was no penalty on the play and while McDavid escaped unharmed, it was a greasy play by Giordano that the Oilers have noted in the back of their minds.
While McDavid seemed upset there was no penalty and that this was the same leg he’s spent months and over 1000 hours rehabbing, other Oilers know Giordano was the same guy who hurt McDavid at the end of last season. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
When asked about the hit, McDavid responded, “I don’t want to start a big media circus at all. Honestly, he’s a guy who plays hard and that’s that.”
Related: 5 Teams Leading the Way on Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Zac Rinaldo Took a Number
Another interesting storyline worth watching is what may go down between to two Zacks. (spelled differently)
While Tkachuk didn’t have to fight Kassian, he did. Flames forward Zac Rinaldo took note. As Kassian was skating off the ice to end his time in the first period, it was clear as day that Rinaldo pointed to himself and said, “I’m next.” The fight never happened on Wednesday.
And, while Kassian doesn’t have a beef with Rinaldo and probably shouldn’t fight him in a close game, there may be fireworks there. And, if not Kassian, Darnell Nurse seems happy to oblige.
Related: Zack Kassian Signs 4-Yr Extension With Oilers
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