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You don’t have to be a very big NHL fan to know that when Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson lays someone out, it’s going to be a huge story inside the sport. The veteran tough guy — his detractors like to say he’s a loser scumbag — was at it again Thursday night in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Wilson was called for a two-minute interference penalty for blowing up Penguins forward Mark Jankowski, which set off NHL fans who love nothing more than to light Wilson up, 280 characters at a time.
The big battle between NHL Twitter and Capitals fans is whether this is suspension-worthy in a league that’s trying to rid the sport of hits like this.
Jankowski to the room after this very, very late hit by Tom Wilson. Wilson assessed only a minor for interference pic.twitter.com/iehW9c7GYG
— NHL Safety Watch (@NHLSafetyWatch) February 26, 2021
Reporters inside the empty arena say Evgeni Malkin skated by the box to have words with Wilson. Josh Yohe from The Athletic says it went something like this:
Malkin: “Nice f-cking hit. F-ck you.”
Wilson: “F-ck you.”
The common theme amongst Penguins fans is that the team doesn’t have a guy who can be sent out on the ice to seek justice. Ryan Reaves, who once played for the Penguins and who famously autographed a picture of an injured Tom Wilson, plays for Vegas.
Guess who Pittsburgh sports talker Mark Madden was calling for on Friday morning? Ryan Reaves.
“The era of the goon is over in hockey, and that’s good,” Madden writes. “But each team lacking that presence makes Wilson all the harder to deal with. It’s worse because he’s in the Penguins’ division.”
Tom Wilson! pic.twitter.com/ay7DYgqHWY
— Dan10900 (@Dan10900) February 26, 2021