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NHL

How’s Your Lipreading?

Screengrab: AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh

Keith Olbermann used to do a bit on SportsCenter whenever the cameras would catch an athlete chirping, without audio, but with obviously PG-13–rated vocabulary. “I can read his lips,” Olbermann would assure viewers, “and he’s not praying.” Brandon Tanev was not praying.

The Penguins pest, fresh off IR, tussled with Bruins enforcer-in-training Trent Frederic at the end of the second period of Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win Thursday evening. From the bench, Tanev had some words of, uh, encouragement for the Boston rookie. And I’m going to encourage you to try to figure out what Tanev is saying here, before I reveal the answer. Luckily, Tanev’s enunciation is immaculate.

Got it yet?

Pens Report was the first to put it all together, and I think they’re spot-on:

“You fucking loser. You think you’re the fucking sheriff? You played fucking 10 games. You played 10 games, buddy. Who are you? Go back to the minors, you fucking joke.”

To be fair, Frederic has played 50 career NHL games, with cups of coffee in the two previous seasons. And to be unfair to Tanev, Frederic’s kicked his ass before. In his very first NHL game on Jan. 29, 2019, Frederic dropped the gloves with Tanev—then with the Jets—and pretty much wiped the ice with him, to the delight of Frederic’s parents in the crowd.

I’m not quite sure how one becomes the sheriff in the NHL; whether it’s an elected position or whether you must fight the incumbent sheriff for his star. I do know that all things considered I’d rather be Jason Zucker in the above clip, just laughing it up.