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26 марта 2006 года. 
Kovalev, Tucker disagree on motives after nasty exchange of elbows // Canadian Press

MONTREAL (CP) - Alex Kovalev says the Toronto Maple Leafs' Darcy Tucker tried to injure him.

Tucker says he deliberately avoided trying to hurt the Montreal Canadiens star.

Whoever is right, the nasty exchange of elbows that led to the two players dropping the gloves marked the climax of a fight-filled third period of Montreal's 6-2 win over Toronto on Saturday night.

With just over two minutes left in the game, Kovalev was skating by when Tucker shot out an elbow that glanced off the Russian winger's face.

When the elbow went uncalled, Kovalev took the puck as though he were skating in on goal, but instead went straight at Tucker, elbow-first.

Kovalev got majors for elbowing and fighting and a game misconduct, while Tucker got called for instigating and fighting.

Both could potentially lead to suspensions or fines, although missing games is not expected in either case.

"I don't care, but if they don't suspend him and suspend me, that's a bit ridiculous," said Kovalev. "Are we just going to watch and wait until we get hurt?

"I'm not going to let that go. He tried to hurt me. He had a good chance and he barely touched me, but I wouldn't let go of my chance."

He said it is up to officials to protect players from attacks late in one-sided games and "they didn't do it." "The referee saw what was going on," Kovalev said. "They have to prevent it, or else maybe they like it so much they let it go. But if they let that go, I thought I could do the same thing."

Tucker said it was "completely false" that he tried to injure Kovalev.

"I was going to hit him, but I was in a bad position and I realized I would hurt him, so I pulled out," he said. "Maybe I touched him.

"But I could have hit him and I didn't."

Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. hopes the league investigates Kovalev's actions, which drew a huge ovation from the home crowd.

"Just watch the tape - he threw a major elbow at his head," said Ferguson.

Canadiens coach Bob Gainey was glad to see the six-foot-two Kovalev fight his own battle on the ice.

"The best person to protect anyone is himself," said Gainey. "That's the message he sent - don't mess with me because I'll protect myself."

Kovalev added: "It's not good to talk about referees. They know their job. Particularly at the end of the game. The game was already over. You've got to protect the players and they didn't do it.

Страничка Алексея Ковалёва на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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