Fighters in hockey are a dying breed but one of the best is alive and well in Ottawa, and he just challenged an entire team’s roster to a fight. As the second period of Monday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings came to an end, Senators captain Brady Tkachuk glided by the visitors’ bench in hopes of provoking any number of them to drop the gloves.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) February 28, 2023
Brady Tkachuk to the entire Red Wings bench at the end of the 2nd period:
"Who wants it? Who f---in' wants it?"
— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) February 28, 2023
Tkachuk was clearly feeling full of confidence after 40 minutes of action in which he scored an electrifying goal and peppered Red Wings netminder Magnus Hellberg with eight shots.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) February 28, 2023
No Red Wings player took Tkachuk up on his offer, and we don’t really blame them. He has played fewer than 350 career games, but we’ve already seen players be immediately discouraged when they realize they have to fight Tkachuk on the ice.
It’s who he is and his reputation is deserved.
If you could draw up a quintessential Tkachuk game it might be Monday’s: A timely goal that eventually helped Ottawa earn a 6-2 win over a team the Sens are trying to overtake in the playoff race, all while being the physical and upfront player he has been since he stepped foot in the NHL.
Senators head coach D.J. Smith had high praise for the 23-year-old after the game.
"He came to play today," Smith said. "He's played a lot of games, a lot of minutes against everyone's top defenders. There's been a couple games that he's really elevated his play and this is one of them. He was emotionally dialled right in, I would say."
With this win, the Tkachuk-led Senators are now just five points below the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, but there are four other teams between them. Ottawa has slowly put itself in the conversation for that final postseason spot.
Through 59 games this season, Tkachuk has scored 25 goals and 62 points.