Mike Keenan (via KHL/YouTube)
Mike Keenan patrolled NHL benches with such aggressiveness that he earned himself the nickname ‘Iron Mike.’ KHL squad Lada got to see what Iron Mike is all about after he challenged their bench to stop diving.
Mike Keenan had a long, storied tenure in the NHL, one that includes a Stanley Cup and his getting a reputation for having his goaltenders on a short leash. He also had a reputation for having an extremely short fuse.
Since 2008-09, his last coaching campaign in the NHL, then with the Calgary Flames, Keenan has been relatively off the grid. Since leaving the NHL, he has found work with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL – and well, one might add, leading his team to the KHL Championship, the Gagarin Cup, in 2013-14, his first season.
But his outburst during Friday’s game against Lada has us remembering a different, much more angry side of Keenan. Watch as he loses his cool after a perceived dive that led to an Oskar Osala boarding call.
Ah, there’s the Keenan most grew up seeing. He might have a case, though. On the replay, you can see Osala’s contact with Denis Barantsev isn’t egregious, yet Barantsev flies into the boards. After crashing into the boards, the Lada defenseman even pops right back to his feet. The call could have gone either way, the referees erred on the side of Barantsev and Keenan got upset.
But this is classic Keenan. From the aggressive pointing to the piercing glare, it’s like he’s back behind the Chicago Blackhawks bench in the early 1990s. Led by Keenan, Magnitogorsk is one point back of Amur for the Kharlamov Division lead and third overall in the Eastern Conference.