Jacob Trouba gets last laugh after Andreas Athanasiou verbal jab

Jacob Trouba appears to be a very mild-mannered and thoughtful individual off the ice and in the locker room. On the ice he’s a different beast altogether. Something changes in the 28 year-old defender when things get heated. Once they do, the New York Rangers captain has no qualms about wearing his heart on his sleeve.

With the Rangers mired in a long stretch of mediocre hockey and losing to the bottom-feeding Chicago Blackhawks on December 3, Trouba was throwing his body with authority and fighting any willing takers.

One player that got caught on the tracks of the Number 8 Trouba Train was Andreas Athanasiou. Afterwards, he accused the hard-hitting defenseman of looking to injure players since he can’t do much else to help his team.

“That guy is known for hitting high, not really worrying about the puck out there and almost trying to hurt people,” Athanasiou told the Chicago Sun Times. “That’s his game; that’s what he does. He’s an $8 million man with zero goals, so he has to figure out how to do something when making that much.”

Jacob Trouba gets the last laugh

Jacob Trouba
Dec 9, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Before the New York Rangers went out and absolutely demolished the Chicago Blackhawks in their own building, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan asked Trouba about Athanasiou’s comments. He simply shrugged it off and pretended not to care.

I mean, he did score a shorthanded goal on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, albeit into an empty net. It was his first of the season and Trouba genuinely appeared unfazed about it when asked.

Well like I said earlier, once the battle on the ice begins a different Trouba shows up.

In the second period, Mika Zibanejad entered the zone with his captain trailing close behind. A drop pass was then hammered past Blackhawks goalie Arvid Soderblom with Trouba immediately turning around and looking at Athanasiou. As soon as he spotted him the Rangers “$8 million man” smiled and said: “Hey! You want the puck?”

After the game, Trouba was asked about it and said with a giant boyish grin: “If he wanted it, he can have it.”

Well played Mr. Trouba. Well played.

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