New York Islanders tough man Ross Johnston has been trying to get Tom Wilson to answer for his most recent infraction towards the Blue and Orange. And for some reason, the referees denied us all the satisfaction.
The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals played a back-to-back home-and-home series on Thursday and Friday. And like any time two teams see too much of each other in a short period of time, things get testy.
On the first leg of the home-and-home, Tom Wilson did what Tom Wilson does, and caught Casey Cizikas high with a flying hit. He wasn’t penalized on the hit.
Again, this is exactly what Tom Wilson does. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll continue to see it so long as he’s in the NHL.
During that outing, Ross Johnston sought Tom Wilson on a few occasions. And every time Tom Wilson declined. Every. Single. Time. As Tom Wilson does. Again, par for the course.
So then the two teams head to Washington with justice still not being served for the initial infraction. But that’s hockey. You don’t always get what you want.
And then the Washington Capitals imply that the Islanders gave them too much room to operate:
"“The Islanders just gave us a lot of room to skate on from the beginning,” forward Andre Burakovsky said. “I mean, my first three shifts, I was skating around and around and around with the puck and making plays. We didn’t really expect that out of them. We were expecting a little bit harder pressure when we had the puck. But, yeah, they just gave us a lot of ice to skate on.”"
All of that just fulled the fire going into Friday nights game in Washington. Ross Johnston hadn’t forgotten about Tom Wilson’s hit. Through the opening period every chance that Johnston got to try and tussle with Wilson, he did. Until he finally had enough and went for it in the second period.
By the end of it, Johnston picked up 17 penalty minutes. Two for instigating, five for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct for…reasons. Honestly, we don’t know. Maybe Johnston said something to the refs. Maybe it was his attitude as they dragged him off the ice.
Either way, this fight was coming. This fight had to come. And we were denied the chance to see it happen because the referees stepped in way too early to stop the fight before it could take place.
Sure, Wilson was an unwilling combatant, but he played his part and likely was going to play his part int he tussle if Johnston hadn’t completely overpowered him.
Now we might never see this fight and I’m sickened by it. For once I thought Tom Wilson would answer for his sins against the New York Islanders and again he got away clean somehow.