Washington Capitals striker Tom Wilson was fined $ 5,000 for punching the New York Rangers striker in the back of the head while he was face down on the ice, according to the NHL’s safety department.
Wilson will not have a hearing on Rangers star Artemi Panarin being thrown on the ice in the ensuing fight. Rangers claim Wilson injured Panarin, who did not return for the third period of his 6-3 loss to the capitals on Monday night.
The fine is the maximum admissible according to the collective labor agreement.
In the second period, Buchnevich had a realization chance on the threshold of the Capitals goalkeeper Vitek Vanecek. While fighting for the puck, Buchnevich dropped his stomach first on the ice, and Wilson struck him in the back of the head.
Wilson was pulled by Buchnevich from Rangers center Ryan Stroim, sparking a bigger fight. Panarin jumped on Wilson’s back, trying to stop him from hitting Strom. Wilson and Panarin detached, and Wilson finally took off Panarin’s helmet as he pulled it down the ice with force. Pararin tried to get up, and Wilson pushed him down again.
“I think you need to have more respect for the game and for the players,” Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said after the game. “It’s just awful. Zero respect. I don’t know why I’m surprised. It’s just awful.”
The NHL focuses on three factors in assessing additional discipline for Wilson. The first was his fall on Buchnevich in the crease, which the league did not consider strong, and that Wilson did not descend on Buchnevich’s neck with his wand.
The second was a Wilson glove kick to the back of Buchnevich’s head while the Rangers player was on the ice. The force and location of the blow were a consideration; in the end, the league considers the incident to be commonplace in the context of the clash around the net, but worthy of a fine.
When it came to Wilson, who threw Panarin on the ice, the league also thought it was common for players to engage during a clash. Wilson did not seek Panarin to attack him. Panarin jumped on Wilson’s back to pull him away from Strom, and Wilson responded by throwing him twice on the ice. The NHL did not find enough evidence that Wilson pulled Panarin to the ice for his hair, which was a popular theory on social media on Monday night.
Rangers coach David Quinn said after the match that Panarin was “good”, but that his loss by the end of the game was “a big blow” for the team.
“We’ve all seen it. There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game. There’s just zero respect for the game as a whole. You have one of the star players in this league who could have become seriously, seriously injured in this incident,” he said. Quinn. “You all saw what happened and it happens again and again to him. Completely unnecessary.”
Wilson received a double minor penalty for foul play and a 10-minute foul that allowed him to finish the game for the Capitals. He scored his 13th goal of the season to limit the score in the third period of Washington’s 6-3 victory.
“I thought it was just a clash. Physical play. Initially, something happened to the goalkeeper and the goalkeeper got stuck. We had a bunch of players get in there. It’s happening a lot,” said Capitals coach Peter Laviolet.
Wilson is a lightning rod for controversy when he physically goes underground due to his long history of meetings with the NHL’s safety department, including earlier this season.
Wilson was suspended for seven games in March due to a blow that injured Boston Bruins defender Brandon Carlo. This was the fifth suspension of Wilson’s career in the NHL, as the previous four were with 105 games from 2017-18. This included a suspension of 20 games for the illegal inspection of Oscar Sundqvist boss St. Louis Blues on October 3, 2018, which was reduced to 14 games on appeal by the NHLPA.
The capitals will face Rangers again on Wednesday night.