“He’s so mouthy, chirpy”: Kevin Bieksa claims Nikita Zadorov’s verbal altercation with former teammate almost sparked an off-ice tussle

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
Kevin Bieksa claims Nikita Zadorov and ex-teammate almost had a restaurant brawl

Former NHLer and insider Kevin Bieksa recalls Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov being a “feisty guy.” He made the statement in a recent appearance on the Spittin’ Chiclets Podcast.

Bieksa recalled an incident in which Nikita Zadorov got into an altercation with a teammate that almost sparked a tussle.

Bieksa explains:

"He’s so mouthy and chirpy, like, I love it, right? So, he’s running his mouth and one of the other guys on the table, a teammate, is a big tough guy, and he’s just like, shut up. And they almost went toe-to-toe. They both stood up and they almost went toe-to-toe over the table."

Bieksa concludes this Nikita Zadorov saga by stating:

"This team’s awesome. I love this team. That’s Zadorov, man."

The incident in Bieksa’s recollections took place while Zadorov was a member of the Calgary Flames. The Flames were in Anaheim during a road trip where Bieksa met Zadorov and other friends for dinner.

Since then, Zadorov has moved on to anchor the Vancouver Canucks’ blue line. He’s been a key part of this year’s Canucks playoff run. Vancouver is one win away from reaching the Western Conference Finals.

But first, they must get past Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers to set a showdown with the Dallas Stars.

Rick Tocchet Canucks preaches toughness and discipline for Nikita Zadorov and teammates

The Hockey News recently quoted Canucks’ coach Rick Tocchet, saying:

"Discipline is a huge factor in the way you play the game."

Tocchet’s comments came in light of the altercation near the end of game 6 in which Zadorov, Vasily Podkozlin, Evander Kane, and Vincent Desaharnais were penalized with game misconduct.

But Tocchet isn’t having any of it for Game 7. While Tocchet is all about playing tough hockey, he’s also focused on playing a tight, disciplined game.

Tocchet defined his team’s approach by stating:

"To me, a cross-check on the head or something like that is not the right way to approach this game; that’s not toughness to me. Digging in is toughness, a good hit is toughness, and not accepting a box out is toughness. Getting the pick out of the wall that’s to be as toughness."

The Canucks will need all the toughness and discipline they can get in Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers. Vancouver cannot afford to take any unnecessary penalties against a team that boasts McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, and Zach Hyman on the powerplay.

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Edited by Chaitanya Prakash
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