Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, one of the most annoying dudes to play against in the NHL, picked up a ticky-tack goalie interference call that disallowed a goal in the first period of the Flames’ eventual 2-1 loss to the Golden Knights on Wednesday. So naturally, Tkachuk decided to go back out and try to do some real goaltender interference, and in doing so, we came tantalizingly close to a goalie fight.
First, the questionable call. With Vegas up by one 15 minutes into the game, Johnny Gaudreau potted a rebound past Marc-Andre Fleury to equalize—only he didn’t. Vegas challenged the goal because a screening Tkachuk was maybe in the crease and definitely got tangled up with Fleury, which led to a few minutes of the very fun new hockey thing where professional announcers and viewers at home just kind of guess about whether or not something was interference. Turned out it was this time, and the goal was disallowed.
Tkachuk was less than thrilled about the call. He even went through the trouble of taking out his gross mouthguard just to tell the ref how much he screwed up.
Tkachuk was angry now, and while at first that paid off in an assist on a Travis Hamonic goal that did count, the frustration eventually manifested itself in a more familiar way. Towards the end of the second period, Tkachuk skated right in front of Fleury and made contact with the goalie, then fell to the ground, clearly looking for a call. Instead, the netminder and Colin Miller ganged up on him, sparking a larger confrontation that ended, beautifully, with Fleury and Calgary goalie David Rittich staring each other down from their respective ends.
This dust-up with the Knights’ franchise player comes exactly, uh, one game after Tkachuk got into it with John Tavares in the closing minutes of a loss to the Leafs, in which Tkachuk held on to Tavares for dear life as Zach Hyman tried to drag him over to the Leafs’ bench.
The Flames continue to hold the best record of any team in the West.