The Leafs’ win last night was far from their best performance of the season. I’m not going to lie, as the seconds were ticking down, I was a little bummed. It’s great to get the two points, but in my opinion, at this stage in the year, the performance is a crucial part of the result as well, and the Leafs played an underwhelming game. However, thanks to Jake Muzzin’s hilariously cheeky puck flip to Matthew Tkachuk at the end of the game, my mood has been significantly uplifted. I can’t figure out what’s funnier, how mad Matthew Tkachuk got or how disgusted Flames fans are on Twitter by a flick of the wrists.
Here is the full clip, and I recommend you watch it untill the end. Matthew Tkachuk’s teammates must think the dudes an absolute freak. I mean, why is this guy slamming the door on his captain’s hand like he did anything wrong, it’s laughable behaviour. As I referred to earlier, Flames fans were absolutely buzzing on the Bird last night over what Muzzin did.
Here is Flames writer Eric Francis’s thoughts. Firstly, sick fuckin ratio. Secondly, the balls on this guy put out this take thinking he wasn’t going to get anything other than roasted. It’s truly unbelievable. I mean, oh my god, it’s like he gave Tkachuk a two-hander to the back of his legs. Not to mention, IT’S MATTHEW FREAKIN’ TKACHUK. Why would Muzzin commit such a disgusting ask, you might ask? Well, other than the countless scumbag hits Tkachuk has laid on players like Drew Doughty, Zach Kassian and Mikko Rantanen, he kneed the Leafs backup goalie in the back just last Sunday.
Tkachuk said on the incident, “It’s just a complete, a classic thing to try to accuse me of there.” He is right in saying that it is a classic thing to accuse him of because it would be classic Matt Tkachuk to do something like that! He has given us plenty of reason to think that any dangerous plays he might make are intentional.
The hypocrisy in it all is what makes it even funnier to me. If Tkachuk had done this to a Leafs player at the end of the game, they would be eating it up, telling any Leafs fan who’d listen that Tkachuk is in your head rent-free! Even so, if Tkachuk did do that to Leafs player, I would personally think it’s still funny because it objectively is. There is nothing wrong with a little gamesmanship, taunting even. That’s what we watch for, is it not? Hockey is in the entertainment business and what Muzzin did is entertaining. It will be everywhere on the internet and TV for the next week, and I’m sure when the Leafs and Flams play next, it will be used by Sportsnet in the build-up!
Matthew Tkachuk is one of the more fascinating guys to watch in the league due to his skill and unpredictability, but he’s been a pest his whole career dating back to junior. It’s been more than a couple times now that he’s crossed the line. Maybe, just maybe, what Muzzin did has humbled him a little bit.
I could be reading far too much into last night’s shenanigans, but humour me for a moment while I play psychologist. From the Leafs perspective, Muzzin’s actions last night are exactly what you want from your veterans and leaders. The Leafs have a different feel this season. It seems like they know they are the most talented team in the division, and they want everyone else to know it too. They are the big dogs in Canada, and no one’s going to fuck with them. The Leafs have lacked that killer instinct for a while now. Could this be the year when they turn into that cold-blooded animal we’ve always known they can become? We won’t know for sure until the season’s over with, but sitting at 12 points through 7 games and atop the country is a damn good start.