Hockey fighters are a dying breed, but one of the best is alive and well in Ottawa, and he just challenged an entire team’s roster to a fight. As the second period of Monday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings drew to a close, Senators captain Brady Tkachuk slid to the visitors’ bench in hopes of provoking a number of them to lower the gloves.
Tkachuk was clearly feeling full of confidence after 40 minutes of action in which he scored an electrifying goal and knocked out Red Wings goaltender Magnus Hellberg with eight shots.
No Red Wings player accepted Tkachuk’s offer, and we don’t really blame them. He’s played less than 350 career games, but we’ve seen players get immediately discouraged when they realize they have to fight Tkachuk on the ice.
That’s who he is and his reputation is deserved.
If you could draw a quintessential game for Tkachuk, it might be Monday’s: a timely goal that ultimately helped Ottawa earn a 6-2 victory over a team the Senators are trying to outrun in the playoff race. playoffs, while being the physical, forward-thinking player he’s been since stepping foot in the NHL.
Senators head coach DJ Smith praised the 23-year-old after the game.
“He came to play today” Smith said. “He played a lot of games, a lot of minutes against the best defenders in everyone. There were a few games where he really upped his game and this was one of them. He was emotionally composed, I would say.”
With the win, the Tkachuk-led Senators are just five points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second wildcard in the Eastern Conference, but there are four more teams between them. Ottawa slowly got into the conversation for that final playoff berth.
In 59 games this season, Tkachuk has scored 25 goals and 62 points.
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