The Hurricanes’ netminders just can’t catch a break.
Fresh off Petr Mrazek‘s run-in with San Jose Sharks veteran Joe Thornton last Thursday — which saw the former gifted a quick shot to the face by the latter — fellow Carolina goaltender James Reimer found himself in a similar situation during Tuesday’s meeting with the Edmonton Oilers.
Midway through the third period, Reimer covered the puck on the right side of his cage only to see Zack Kassian‘s stick fly in for an extra poke at the puck. The netminder pushed the Oilers forward out of his crease, prompting a response from Kassian and a subsequent brawl between the pair and their surrounding teammates.
Kassian was handed a roughing minor for the incident. Reimer, meanwhile, said post-game that he might’ve taken a different approach had he known it was the six-foot-three, 211-pound Kassian at his doorstep.
“I was kind of getting bumped all night, which is fine, it’s hockey. But I thought [Kassian] kind of came in late there,” Reimer said, according to CarolinaHurricanes.com’s Michael Smith. “I didn’t even know who it was. I just saw somebody slash me, so I just punched him.
“I looked up and it was him, and I was like, ‘Oh, I probably could have picked someone who wasn’t as tough as he is.’ Thankfully the boys stepped in so I didn’t get my face punched in.”
The 31-year-old Reimer has six wins on the season through 11 starts so far in 2019-20. He’s posted a .918 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average over that span, helping the ‘Canes out to a 19-11-1 record so far.