Thursday night time was a tough one for Matthew Tkachuk. The Flames winger was damage within the first interval and got here again not as soon as, however twice. He left once more within the third interval and didn’t return. Head coach Geoff Ward didn’t have an replace after the sport.
“We may have used him,” mentioned Ward. “He does an terrible lot of issues for us. I imply, he is an emotional chief for us, he is a gamer. he leads our workforce in a number of methods. He relishes being in most of these video games. He is an especially clever participant, he is a key man on the facility play.
“So there’s a number of issues that he brings to the desk and for him to not be capable to end the hockey sport for us, its a gap. And now now we have to return and consider precisely what is going on on and see what we have to do.”
Tkachuk’s issues began when he was lined up with Stars captain Jamie Benn for a faceoff deep within the Flames zone. The 2 got here collectively after the puck was dropped, and it appeared Benn speared Tkachuk in both the inside left thigh . . . or a bit increased. Tkachuk limped off the ice and went to the locker room.
The hard-nosed winger missed only one shift, however his return did not final lengthy and he needed to head to the locker room once more.
Tkachuk noticed simply 3:40 of ice time within the opening body, however he returned for the second interval. He by no means regarded totally proper after that regardless of logging two ticks above six minutes within the center session.
On his second shift of the third interval, with the puck at his ft, he was sandwiched close to the far boards by Benn and Jamie Oleksiak.
It is unclear what precisely occurred on the play. Tkachuk stumbled and appeared to have points once more together with his left leg. He wasn’t placing a lot weight on it as he headed to the bench after which went down the tunnel with help. Tkachuk was additionally wobbly; his head and Oleksiak’s appeared to make contact, so the difficulty may have been associated to that.
Tkachuk is his workforce’s coronary heart and soul. It’s going to be troublesome for Calgary to compensate for what he brings on a nightly foundation if he is pressured to overlook time. He is a infamous pest who drew seven penalties within the first 5 video games of the postseason, however he can even bury the puck when wanted. In those self same 5 contests, he had two factors (aim, help) after registering 61 factors in Calgary’s 69 regular-season video games.
“Yeah Chucky is a warrior,” mentioned Sam Bennett postgame. “He battles onerous for us game-in and game-out. I assume we’ll see what’s up with him however he is a tricky child. So, you recognize, he brings so much to our workforce and it is unlucky that he needed to go away there however he is a tricky child.”
“Yeah, every little thing [Bennett] mentioned,” added captain Mark Giordano. “By no means wish to see a man not play down the stretch however hopefully, it is one thing minor and he can get proper again with us.”
The Flames misplaced Recreation 2 of this first-round collection 5-4 on a aim by Oleksiak with 39.2 seconds remaining in regulation. The collection is now tied 1-1. Calgary and Dallas are enjoying back-to-back nights, with Recreation Three set for Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.