"So he’s saying he was drunk?": NHL fans react to Chris Kreider's response to throwing Matthew Tkachuk's mouthguard

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Chris Kreider's response to throwing Matthew Tkachuk's mouthguard

In Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers, tensions flared between Chris Kreider of the Rangers and Matthew Tkachuk of the Panthers. Early in the third period, the two players got into a jostle and needed to be separated by officials.

In the midst of the argument, Kreider reached up toward Tkachuk's face and appeared to remove his mouthguard. After getting separated, he tossed the mouthguard into the stands.

When asked about the incident after the game, Kreider said:

"I don't remember that."

This prompted outrage and skepticism from fans on social media.

One fan was in disbelief that Kreider could claim to not remember an interaction that occurred just hours before, tweeting:

"So he's saying he was drunk?"

Another fan asked to reiterate the question to Chris Kreider in another manner:

"Ask again, but say pacifier instead of mouth guard," said on X.

One fan jokingly pointed out:

"Kreider owes him a new mouthpiece for that, the shame!" A user commented.

Here are some other fan reactions:

"I bet he doesn’t remember scoring a point either," one fan wrote on X.
"I’m surprised he didn’t dive after that," another fan wrote.
"That was awesome," a user wrote.

Panthers went on to win the game 3-2 in OT at Amerant Bank Arena. Game 5 shifts to New York on Thursday.

Chris Kreider's comments after the Rangers' 3-2 OT loss to the Panthers in Game 4

With the series now tied 2-2, Chris Kreider commented on the team's performance and mindset moving forward. He acknowledged the Rangers' struggles in creating offense at even strength, saying:

"We're not getting a lot of opportunities to make plays, obviously. I think we had a couple looks. We bury those, you don't ask me that question. So just gotta be opportunistic." (Via NY Post)

Chris Kreider has not recorded a point through four games against the Panthers.

Regarding the opponents' strong shifts putting pressure on the Rangers' zone, Kreider said:

“We have to find ways to tilt the ice and go the other way and do that to them.”

As per The Athletic, regarding the loss, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said:

"We've got to be better. We can't afford lapses like that. I don't have an explanation.
"It was the same thing, they come out, they're chasing it, they press and I didn't think the response was good to start the second period. We went in there, we had to kill some penalties from there. I definitely think we need to be better.”

Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafrenière scored for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 shots.

Panthers got goals from Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots.

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