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Matthew Tkachuk Was Designed In A Lab Specifically For Playoff Hockey

Elsa. Getty Images.

The New York Rangers went out and signed Vincent Trocheck a couple summers ago because they needed someone who fit the mold on how to play playoff hockey. A guy who makes major impacts both on the scoresheet and in the minds of his opponents. He has the ability to be a big time goal scorer, and a big time pest. 

The Rangers might have a Trocheck, but the Florida Panthers have a Tkachuk. 

First period of the series and Tkachuk is already asserting his dominance. He knows that Trocheck views himself as the same type of player as himself, and he's just out there to remind Vinny that there can only be one true Rat King. That he's the "we have a Matthew Tkachuk at home" version of himself. Carolina has nobody on their roster who can replicate what Tkachuk does on the ice. The closest thing they have is Tony DeAngelo who just yaps the entire time and never actually does anything about it. So if the Rangers thought they could go into this series and still be the bullies, Matthew just wanted to graciously remind them that no the fuck they cannot. 

And again, what separates a Rat King from the rest of the rats is that they do the majority of their damage on the scoreboard. That's what makes guys like Tkachuk so goddamn insufferable if you have to go up against him. Because it's one thing for a 4th line plug to go out there and lay the body every once in a while. It's an entirely different beast when the dude who just knocked you on your ass is now leading the fist bump line down the bench after scoring the opening goal of the series. 

I know we are currently living through an epidemic of cherry picked stats to create "history". Stats like "the fastest player born in the month of October to play the majority of their youth hockey in Missouri to score 5 NHL goals against a Western Conference team". But this stat from Matthew Tkachuk is pretty damn impressive and shows just how ridiculous this guy is in the playoffs. 

5 games in the conference finals, 4 game winners. And the only time he didn't score the game winner so far, he had an assist on it. Cherry picked or not, that stat rules. Matthew Tkachuk was born for playoff hockey. He was scientifically designed to completely take over 7-game series. 

But credit to Alexis Lafreniere, too. He has scored in 100% of conference final games he's ever played in.