Sunday, September 20, 2020

Jets’ Scheifele says Tkachuk was ‘a little out of control’ but not aiming to injure

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 01: Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets is helped off of the ice by Nathan Beaulieu #88 of the Winnipeg Jets after a hard hit against the Calgary Flames in Game One of the Western Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 01, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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“I don’t think he came off the bench and said, ‘Hey I’m going to see if I can go stab the back of Mark Scheifele’s leg with my skate,’ ” Maurice said then. “I think he got to that point, and I think that’s exactly what he did. But I don’t think he’s skating across the ice thinking that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

“I think he plays at a level, he’s on the edge. He crosses it sometimes, and he crossed it — in my mind — clearly. That’s exactly how I feel about it.”

Scheifele wouldn’t disclose the specifics of his injury on Tuesday’s Zoom call, although he said he was “very, very lucky that it wasn’t worse” since his initial fear was he had torn his Achilles tendon.

He revealed that Tkachuk did reach out to discuss the incident.

The Flames’ rising star was hustling on the backcheck and tried to finish his hit after a dump-in.

“The way I look at it, at the last second, I turned up and it was kind of like a knee-on-knee scenario,” Scheifele said, describing the collision. “The one thing I know — and he talked about being out of control and skating too fast. He took ownership of that. I know for me as a hockey player, I work every single day at being in control, at being in control of where I’m at on the ice and the space around me. That’s what I work on every single day.

“It’s one of those things that’s a learning curve for everyone. You try to be in control all the time. I look at it as a knee-on-knee scenario. That’s just the way the game works. It’s a fast-moving game, but I’m thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been. I had a lot of bad thoughts go through my mind that I was going to be out for six months and that my career could be over. That was tough on me, and the worst part was the anticipation of getting some answers.

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