The NHL refused to handle the Tom Wilson situation appropriately, so Brendan Smith was compelled to take matters into his own hands.
You know the story by now: Wilson on Monday punched Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head, then bodyslammed a helmetless Artemi Panarin. The end result only was a fine, instead of a suspension, for the Washington Capitals winger.
The Caps and New York Rangers met again Wednesday, and the result was predictable. There were over 100 penalty minutes in the first period alone, in large part due to a line brawl off the opening puck drop. In Wilson’s first shift, he immediately was engaged by Smith, and the two dropped the gloves.
The veteran defenseman had a pretty straightforward reaction to having to fight Wilson.
“You guys watched what happened the game before. I really don’t want to touch on it too much. It’s been exhausted already,” Smith said, via ESPN. “I thought that it should have been handled before this game, and it wasn’t, so unfortunately it had to be on my shoulders, and I took it.”
That was the last time the Rangers and Capitals will meet this season, so this situation, for now, appears to be settled.