Things got pretty headed between Canadian rivals the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks this week, thanks in large part to an incident that took place between Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and Canucks forward Zac MacEwan.
The animosity between the two players came as a result of what looked like an attempt from MacEwan to knee nurse in the head while he was on the ground, a move that understandably sent the Oilers defenseman into a rage. For those of you who didn't see the incident when it happened, you can check out a replay of the attempted knee as well as Nurse's reaction to the attempt in the short clip below.
Although the attempted knee to the head was obviously a dirty play, one that would lead to a suspension for MacEwan, I suppose he does deserve some small amount of credit for taking up the challenge when Nurse came after him later during the same game.
Although Nurse was quite obviously hot under the collar following the contest, his response to the suspension actually showed a great deal of class and self awareness. It was an indication that Nurse not only handled the situation well on the ice itself, but that he had quickly moved on from the incident as a whole and was looking forward to what lies ahead for himself and his team.
"I'm not going to sit up here on my high horse and say I've never done anything dirty," said Nurse when learning of MacEwan's suspension. "Those things happen in the heat of the battle. Move on."
It was a classy comment to be sure but whether or not the two will clash once again before the end of the regular season remains to be seen. The Canucks and the Oilers will once again face off during the final game of the regular season and, although the Canucks have nothing to play for, this one could turn into a heated affair. The Oilers have already locked in their spot in this upcoming postseason, so the Canucks won't even have the opportunity to play spoiler here, but it could very well be that they come out to play in what will be their final game this season.