There's no question that over the years the National Hockey League has seen greater rivalries between teams and athletes than the one we are about to discuss, but there may never have been two players that genuinely carried more hatred for one another than Las Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves and San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane.
On Saturday night Evander Kane renewed that rivalry when he took to social media after a wild incident in Game 1 of the second round series between the Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. Kane, who is not involved in the series or even in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for that matter, was there to mock Reaves and effectively kick the man while he was down after Reaves unquestionably crossed the line and put his team in a huge hole by gifting the Avalanche a 9 minute power play when the Golden Knights were already on the wrong end of a blow out in Game 1.
For those of you who missed the incident, Reaves would cross check Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer in the back of the head and then proceed to effectively assault Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves. Reaves would grab Graves in front of the net and throw him to the ice, before then dropping his knee on top of the defenseman's head. He also appeared to get his hand or fingers into the face of Graves after all of that, although it is hard to tell just how malicious that part of the incident was given the limited visibility we had from the camera angles provided.
Here's the replay:
As a result of this Graves would remain down on the ice for several moments and required the help of training staff to eventually get up off the ice, which in turn resulted in Reaves being awarded a match penalty for intent to injure. This will now no doubt lead to a suspension, however it was here that Kane decided to get his jab in. The Sharks forward suggested that forcing the Golden Knights to play Reaves a full 20 minutes a night would serve as a better punishment than suspending him during the series, obviously taking a shot at his skills on the ice.
"Instead of a suspension they should have to play him 20 minutes a night for the rest of the series," said Kane adding a laughing emoji to his tweet.
We await news on the supplementary discipline that Reaves will face as a result of this incident, and no doubt Reaves is now eagerly awaiting his next meeting with the San Jose Sharks next season.