The third game of the Eastern Conference Finals turned into a real outburst of emotions, which overflowed everyone at times. To the surprise of many, it was Nikita Kucherov, the most valuable player in the NHL, who provoked a fight with the Islanders.
Five Players Are Punished
Kucherov chased the striker of the Islanders, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who was fleeing to the empty goal and then hit him with a stick.
That, nevertheless, did not prevent the Canadian from scoring the goal, after which a brawl broke out on the ice. Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev took part in the altercation. The Islanders were represented by Pageau and Cal Clutterbuck. All players were punished with disciplinary fines.
“I Don’t Think There Is Anything Personal Here”
“Kucherov was competing, trying to catch up. I felt like he was just trying to reach the puck with his stick, so he just brushed my leg slightly. He wasn’t too close. I don’t think there is anything personal here. We are in the final of the conference, the stakes are high, and everyone wants to win. Each team gives all its strength and plays as hard as possible. Everyone is playing for each other. We have a real brotherhood at the Islanders, and you were able to see this today during the game,” Pageau said after the match.
“Kucherov is an extremely talented player. He had no reason to stoop to that. That is unforgivable. Kucherov provoked a fight with the Islanders. In the fourth match, the referees must do a good job so that the game does not get out of control. Nobody expects Kucherov to be disqualified. It was unexpected,” said Matt O’Leary, the author of The Eyes On Isles blog.
What do you think about the actions of Kucherov? Did he do it accidentally or intentionally?
Also, you can read Experts: Tampa Has a 41% Chance of Winning the Stanley Cup.