Jets’ Paul Maurice calls Mark Scheifele’s Matthew Tkachuk ‘disgusting’ success

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Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk intentionally kicked Jets star center Mark Scheifele to the back of the leg resulting in an injury that left prevented Scheifele from the first game of their qualifying series on Saturday night.In the first half, Tkachuk appeared to cut Scheifele’s left leg with his right skate, causing Scheifele to hit the boards awkwardly. Scheifele fell onto the ice, screaming in pain, and rolled around the area, gripping his left leg. He left the ice with the help of coaches. The Jets then lost 4-1.

“It was intentional,” Maurice said. “It was a dirty dirty kick to the back of the leg. You can’t see it on the program [camera] feed, but you take the blue stream and zoom in. He went after the back of his leg. Could have cut his Achilles [tendon]. Could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely dirty and disgusting hit. ”

Tkachuk, who went to talk to Scheifele as he left the ice, received no penalty on the play.

“I don’t expect the refs to find this one,” Maurice said. “You have to watch it after. And it’s grotesque. ”

Ahead of Maurice’s press conference, Tkachuk denied doing anything intentional to hurt Scheifele, letting out an exasperated laugh when asked if he had a role in the injury.

“No, absolutely not,” Tkachuk said. “I double-check it. It was such an accident. I was feeling bad. He was turning away, and I just walked in and my left skate had a little swing speed. I was probably moving too fast for me. and I was going down, it looked like my leg had probably caught it.

” I feel bad. He is a leading NHL player and someone I have come to know over the past few summers. [training with him]. It’s not good for the game when someone like that is not in the game. It was very unhappy and unlucky. But there is really nothing that could have happened. ”

Jets captain Blake Wheeler fought Tkachuk after the incident.

Scheifele, who shared the team lead in points with 73 in 71 games this season, played just 2 minutes and 59 seconds in the loss to Calgary. Forward Patrik Laine also left the game, appearing to have been punched in the hand. But Mauice said it wasn’t the slash that got him out. Scheifele and Laine will be reassessed on Sunday by specialists.

“We struggled. There is no doubt about it, ”Maurice said of the injuries.

The teams meet Monday afternoon in Edmonton, the neutral venue where the Western Conference playoffs are held in an empty arena.

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