Monday night was certainly not one to remember for Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson.
The 27-year-old not only dangerously slammed Pavel Buchnevich’s head against the ice in Vitek Vanacek’s crease, but followed up by bringing a helmetless (and much smaller) Artemi Panarin to the ground. Panarin also slammed his head and was forced to leave the game and Wilson was consequently awarded a misconduct penalty.
Hockey fans were predictably left steaming hot after watching Wilson once again go full-villain mode and has some unflattering comments to say about the guy on Twitter, but Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t appear to be as convinced the play was as dirty as people are interpreting it to be. In fact, the veteran head coach claimed this type of thing happens ‘a lot’.
The following is an excerpt from The New York Post:
“I thought it was just a scrum,” Laviolette said after his team’s 6-3 victory in which Wilson, who received nothing more than a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for his indiscretions, scored once. “Some physical play … it happens a lot.”
Mmm… not really. Fans weren’t buying what Lavs was selling.
As for Rangers players, it’s safe to say they were set off by Wilson’s actions. Forward Mika Zibanejad did not hold back while discussing the incidents following the game.
Believe or not, Wilson didn't even earn himself a suspension, just a slap on the wrist $5,000 fine.
(H/T The New York Post)