TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman isn’t interested in talking about the bite he believes he received from Chicago Blackhawks right winger Andrew Shaw in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Shaw also refused to speak directly about the first-period altercation, and both players seemed determined to forget about it before Game 2 on Saturday night.
“I mean, it’s a hockey game,” Shaw said Friday when asked if he bit Hedman. “He’s a highly skilled, big, strong defenseman with a lot of speed, and he went after one of our better players. It creates the scrums. I expect battles with him at the front of the net the rest of the series as well.”
Two days after it happened, neither player would directly address the altercation.
“Obviously you see what I said,” Hedman said. “If you saw that, I don’t have to say anymore.”
Shaw and Hedman got tangled up on the boards Wednesday night behind the Tampa Bay net after the Lightning player pushed Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. After the scrum was broken up, Hedman was seen on the Lightning bench lifting his jersey to show a spot on his side to a team trainer. Hedman appeared to say he had been bit.
After the Lightning’s 2-1 loss Wednesday, Hedman said it felt like he was bit, but he couldn’t say for sure that it did happen.
The NHL looked at video of the scrum but hasn’t issued any sanctions.
“It’s a new game (Saturday),” Hedman said. “I want to be at my best. Let’s focus (on Game 2). As a group, we are in the Stanley Cup Finals. We can’t be focused on anything else.”
The apparent bite is the latest chapter in a strange history of players using their teeth in the Stanley Cup Final.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron accused Vancouver’s Alex Burrows of biting his finger during a scrum in Game 1 of the 2011 series. Burrows wasn’t suspended when the NHL couldn’t find conclusive evidence of a bite.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images