Tyler Bertuzzi scares Matthew Tkachuk during scrum with feint punch

Ryan Smitheram
April 17, 2024  (11:37)

Tkachuk flinches after Bertuzzi fakes throwing a punch
Photo credit: TSN

Last night, Maple Leafs winger Tyler Bertuzzi showed everyone just how cowardly Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk actually is when he's not delivering cheap shots.

Late in the first period of last night's game between the Leafs and Panthers, a post-whistle scrum ensued along boards. The scrum was the result of a slash from Jake McCabe on Evan Rodrigues. Tkachuk was obviously the first to jump in and go after McCabe which led to everyone else grabbing someone to even the odds.
As things were settling down, Tkachuk picked up his mouth piece and said something to Bertuzzi while taking a stride towards him. Bertuzzi, who was being held by Rodrigues, took exception and faked throwing a punch at Tkachuk. The move caused Tkachuk to flinch and skate away showing just how much of a coward he is to avoid actually going toe-to-toe with someone.

It seems to be a common theme among the Panthers as Nick Cousins was voted the "most punchable face" by players across the league and for good reason. Neither one of them is willing to fight after they do something that needs to be answered for, but they are quick to be the third man into a scrum.
Tkachuk was in and around the post-whistle extra-curricular activity all night last night, en route to a 5-2 win over the Leafs. This melee between the benches saw Tkachuk going after Leafs captain John Tavares - a player who notoriously has avoided the rough stuff throughout most of his career.
Does anyone believe for a single second that Tkachuk would have tried this on Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, Ryan Reaves, Simon Benoit or Joel Edmundson? Because I sure don't.
Tkachuk is a player who plays at his best when he's skirting the line and doing his best to disrupt the opposition's star players. He's an agitator through and through, but when it actually comes time to walk the walk, he's always the first one to skate away and avoid the confrontation. It was refreshing to see someone remind him that he's not the toughest dog in the yard, even when he pretends to be.
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Tyler Bertuzzi scares Matthew Tkachuk during scrum with feint punch

Who do you despise most from this list?

Matthew Tkachuk10822 %
Brady Tkachuk275.5 %
Brad Marchand30061.1 %
Nick Cousins5611.4 %
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