This might be a bit of a hot take, but the NHL did themselves a favor last night by NOT suspending Tommy Wilson for his dirty actions on Monday night. Last night’s game was electric.
So for those who might not know and I’m assuming if you read my blogs you follow hockey enough to know about the biggest thing that’s been talked about all season with noted scumbag Tom Wilson not getting suspended for body slamming Artemi Panarin to the ice on Monday night’s game.
This whole thing caused an uproar on social media with the way that the NHL handled it by not suspending him at all and fining him $5000. 5k is nothing and although that’s the max that the league could fine him for that, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Even though the argument could be made that it wasn’t suspension worthy for a lot of players in the league, Tom Wilson is a repeat offender and it was a dirty move, so they definitely could have suspended him for a game and avoided all of this drama.
On Tuesday, the Rangers PR department released this statement on all of their social media that honestly, made their organization look like pussies to me. Just let the game police itself the next game (which is exactly what happened).
Then yesterday after noon, the bomb dropped on the Rangers organization that they fired GM Jeff Gorton and President John Davidson.
James Dolan claimed that this didn’t have anything to do with how they handled the whole Tom Wilson situation but there’s no way it didn’t. It can’t be a coincidence here. I think Gorton and Davidson have done a pretty solid job the last few years in building a team in New York that’s close to being really good in the upcoming year or two. And even though they missed the playoffs in a strong East Division this year, I don’t think that was the reason behind the firings. Chris Drury, my personal favorite hockey player ever was named the new President and GM so I’m happy for him on that and wish him a ton of success in his new roles.
NBCSN’s ratings for last night’s game had to be the highest the NHL has seen all season. This game was a must watch and the NHL who does an awful job at marketing their sport and the greatest professional sports league in the world. They don’t do themselves any favors in getting eyes on their sport. But last night everyone in the sports world, even outside of the bubble of hockey fans that watch the game every night wanted to tune in for what was sure to be an old school hockey donnybrook on the ice. How often does a late season hockey game that has zero impact to one of the teams playing in it and only a small seeding impact on the other, draw that much interest. Tom Wilson did that entirely on his own. Tommy. Fucking. Wilson.
The game didn’t disappoint with exactly what people expected would happen. Right off the opening puck drop, a three fight line brawl broke out immediately resulting in a half hour worth of penalty minutes just a second into the game.
50 seconds later, as soon as Tommy Wilson stepped on the ice for his first shift, Brandon Smith went right after him and they dropped the gloves. A surprise to no one.
After a couple other fights and some misconducts, the first period ended with 100 minutes of penalties.
Tom Wilson left the game with an “upper body injury” after the first period. Yeah, okay. I’m sure he’s injured…after that first period no chance the NHL wanted the brawling to continue so Gary Bettman and co. absolutely put a call into that game to yank out Wilson.
The Capitals ended up winning 4-2 in what turned into a great game to tie the Penguins for first place in the East Division and the game ended with 141 penalty minutes.
The other much bigger story to this game was TJ Oshie scoring a hat trick in first game back on the ice after his dad passed away yesterday. Fantastic for him.
This game was so much fun to watch and entertaining yesterday and the NHL did themselves a favor letting this game play out as is without suspending Wilson on Monday night. No one moves the needle in hockey like Tommy fucking Wilson does.