Tkachuk: If Kassian 'doesn't want to get hit, then stay off the tracks'
Warning: Story contains coarse language
Matthew Tkachuk shared some advice for Zack Kassian after the Edmonton Oilers winger responded to a hard hit from the Calgary Flames forward with a series of pummeling blows on Saturday.
“If (Kassian) doesn’t want to get hit, then stay off the tracks," said Tkachuk, according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis. "I caught him three times there - you think he’d learn after the first one. If he wants to react that way we’ll take the power play, we’ll take the game-winner, and we’ll move on to first place”
Kassian received a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct after retaliating to a hit from Tkachuk. Flames forward Elias Lindholm then buried the game-winning goal in the 4-3 victory on the subsequent power play.
Kassian is scheduled for a hearing on Monday for roughing and being an aggressor, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced on Sunday.
When asked about Tkachuk's antics postgame, the 28-year-old didn't sugarcoat his feelings.
"If you're going to hit like that, you have to answer the bell once in a while," Kassian told reporters, including Daily Faceoff's Brady Trettenero.
"He's just a young punk that has to figure that aspect out in the game," he added. "He's a pretty good player, but he's a pussy to be honest. Straight up, that's the definition of it."
Kassian said he's challenged Tkachuk to fight in the past, but he claims the Flames winger declined the invitation because of the veteran's status as a fourth-liner.
"Now I have 13 goals. What's the excuse now?" Kassian continued.
The two will meet again when the rival clubs clash next on Jan. 29 in Edmonton.