Everybody always talks about how the Wayne Gretzky trade to LA saved the NHL. How it created this chain reaction of events that would go on to create the game that we know and love today. That was during August of 1988. Just a couple weeks shy of 34 years later, there was another trade that saved hockey. And that was when Matthew Tkachuk was traded to the Florida Panthers. Because with Matthew coming home to America and into the Atlantic Division, it gave us the Tkachuk Bowl at least 4 times per season.
We got a few good sample bites of Matthew vs Brady throughout the years, but last night we got the biggest shit fest we've ever seen between these two. It's exactly what hockey needs. Brother vs brother, pops and grandma in the crowd, absolute fucking mayhem on the ice.
Things were pretty casual for most of the night. The Panthers were up 3-0 on the Senators at the end of the 2nd period. Which was to be expected considered Ottawa is pure trash. But Matthew Tkachuk is one of the all-time shit stirrers in hockey. He's the Rat King for a reason. Nobody knows how to agitate the shit out of their opponent quite like Matthew Tkachuk. So he fucks around with Korpisalo a little bit at the end of the 2nd period, bullies the Senators into the locker room, and makes sure little brother knows exactly who is in charge here.
They're not allowed to fight out there, and that's by order of Mama Tkachuk. But they're at least going to annoy the everliving piss out of each other.
But Brady is also a little shit. I'd imagine the Tkachuk household was a full blown battle royale every day growing up. So Brady riles up the boys in the locker room during intermission, and probably gives the green light to go after his brother in the 3rd period. Zack MacEwen doesn't need to be told twice.
Now here's the thing--if you come at the Rat King, you best not miss. And even though MacEwen may have made Matthew Tkachuk bleed his own blood, MacEwen ended up getting tossed from the game and Matthew is still out there. So now he has free reign to do whatever he wants. Apparently he wanted to un-alive either Tim Stutzle or Jake Sanderson.
Matthew tells Brady that Stutzle and Sanderson are dead. I'm not the best lip reader in the world, but it looks like Brady called the bet and raised him with Barkov.
A couple shifts later, it doesn't look like Matthew was bluffing.
Hits Stutzle along the boards, gets a crack at fighting Sanderson after the hit. It wasn't much of a tilt, but it was still the exact type of chaos you'd expect to find when Matthew Thackuk is on the ice. At this point, Brady is fed him so he goes out there the very next shift and takes a cross checking penalty against Aaron Ekblad. And then as soon as Brady Tkachuk gets out of the box from his minor penalty…
He takes a whack at Bobrovsky to return the favor for Matthew taking a few hacks at Korpisalo. And then once again, complete and total chaos ensues. Matthew watches from the penalty box. Grandma Tkachuk and Big Walt watch from the crowd. Just mayhem all over the place, and now the refs have finally seen enough. They realize the Tkachuk household was probably a mad house for 18 years growing up, and they don't want to deal with that shit anymore. So the quickest way to put an end to it is to just send everybody to the locker room. 10-minute misconducts for everybody!
The 3rd period penalty log looks like a damn CVS receipt. That's over 150 penalty minutes in just the 3rd period alone. Unfortunately, it was the only period where things really got crazy. So they ended the game with under 200 penalty minutes on the night. Not quite enough to make its way into the NHL record books. But as far as single period penalty minutes go, I feel like that has to be up there towards the top.
What a night for some old time hockey. Brutal night all around for Ottawa, though.
They're an awful hockey team. But hopefully one day they'll finally turn it around because we need a Tkachuk Bowl in the playoffs.