Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk stole Brent Burns' stick and refused to give it back
Calgary Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk has been an impressive force in his first NHL season. The 19-year-old had a nine-game point streak snapped earlier this week, but quickly got back on the scoresheet with a two-point effort against the Sharks on Wednesday night.
But despite all his success, Tkachuk is still a rookie and a teenager, which means that he's going to make some mistakes and be a little frustrating at times. We were also reminded of that on Wednesday night.
During the second period, Tkachuk earned his team a two-minute penalty thanks to a pretty boneheaded decision. The Flames winger got the stick of San Jose defenseman Brent Burns stuck up along his body so he decided to pull the lumber out of Burns' hands and keep it. Tkachuck refused to give the stick back as he headed off the ice for a line change. Understandably, Burns wasn't pleased.
Tkachuk's immature shenanigans didn't slip by the referees, who slapped the rookie with an interference penalty as a result. After the game, Flames coach Glen Gulutzan was asked about the incident and, to his credit, he tried to explain it the best he could. Alas, even he was a bit at a loss for words.
We'll just chalk this one up to growing pains. At the very least, though, you've got to give credit to Tkachuk for having the courage to steal Burns' stick, of all people. If you've seen any beef jerky commercials lately, you'll know that messing with Sasquatch usually ends poorly.