Topless NHL star swigs beer during epic press call rant as he hails fellow Russian who grabbed MVP after Stanley Cup glory (VIDEO)
Tampa Bay Lightning beat Montreal Canadiens 1-0 to win the series 4-1, and celebrating Kucherov was on confrontational form as he stripped off and chugged from a can in his post-game press duties, which he began by clapping and offering two fingers from either hand to the cameras.
Russia international Kucherov was clearly not enamored with the Canadiens fans, taunting them after they won the previous game 3-2 in a result that he clearly still resented.
“I didn’t want to go back to Montreal,” the former CSKA Moscow star admitted. “The fans in Montreal, come on.
Nikita Kucherov speaking his mind in tonights post game interview😂☠️ pic.twitter.com/NIfCx6Aq7N— Everything Hockey (@EHClothing) July 8, 2021
"They acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Their final was last series. I couldn't sleep for three nights and to be able to win this game is huge."
Kucherov was considerably more impressed with Andrei Vasilevskiy, who beat him to the Conn Smythe Trophy after stopping 135 of 141 shots in the series and breaking a league record by keeping five consecutive shutouts.
"His compete level is as high as it can be," gushed Kucherov, calling his countryman's perceived lack of recognition "number one bullsh*t".
"I remember him when he was 16. He was always the guy that cares about the game and wants to be better and he wants to be No. 1. And, as we can see, he is.
"Vasi was outstanding. I was telling him every day, 'Vasi, you're MVP – you're the best player.' He's the best. He kept us in the game. Remarkable – I can't even tell more."
Vasilevskiy appeared to be caught by surprise when he was told that he had won the accolade on the ice.
“It’s not about me," he insisted, calling his parents while he was on the ice. "It’s about the team. The whole team deserves it, for sure.”
“It’s probably like four or 5am in Russia now, and [my family] were watching me in the morning.
“So that’s amazing to just share this moment with them. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get here for this game because it’s a little complicated, but I felt their support, and that’s just amazing.”
“He’s very humble guy,” said Kucherov. “He doesn’t want people near him to say he’s the best.
"He wants to prove he’s the best, but I know he’s the best, you know?
"He wants to prove me, but I’m like, ‘Vasi you proved me right a f*cking long time ago. When I was 15, you proved it to me.
“Even though he’s getting robbed every year by NHL, not getting the Vezina [award for the NHL's best goaltender], he’s still humble, he still works hard.
"If he would play in a different market, he would take this Vezina year after year. He would beat all the records – whatever, blah, blah, blah. He’s the best.”
Vasilevskiy was facing a great in Canadiens keeper Carey Price. “I can’t believe how he shuts the door in the biggest games of his career,” marveled Lightning coach Jon Cooper of his goaltender.
“He’s the big cat and, when he locks in, he is remarkable to watch. And you look at the guy he’s going against [Price]: let’s be honest, the best goalie in my era, we just played against.
"And the best goalie now in this next era is the goalie that just won a Stanley Cup.
"So I think hockey fans were privileged to watch two generational goalies play tonight. And a torch has been passed.”Also on rt.com Fireworks blamed in death of ice hockey star Matiss Kivlenieks as new details emerge about tragic hot tub incident