• Tom Wilson explains he was just reacting to the physicality of the Rangers
  • Wilson reveals he reached out to Artemi Panarin
  • Wilson feels that the Capitals-Rangers brawl was nothing more than a typical hockey scrum

Tom Wilson, the right-winger for the Washington Capitals, has finally spoken out regarding that fracas he sparked during a recent NHL game.

The 27-year-old came under fire for instigating a brawl. However, Wilson shed more light on why he came to the rescue of Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek, who made a save on a shot at the time.

As far as Wilson is concerned, his actions are justified because he was just defending his teammate.

He pinned the blame on the New York Rangers players who went at Vanecek.

"Their guy goes to our net and kicks at our goalie and goes in there with his stick," Wilson said. "At a young age in hockey, you’re taught to stand up for your goalie, so that’s what I was doing."

Wilson added that he jumped on Artemi Panarin because he climbed on Vanecek’s back.

He took the move differently and responded in what he called a fairly routine hockey scrum.

"I think anybody’s first reaction would try to be just to throw them off you and wrestle them down to the ice," Wilson said. "And, that’s what I thought about it at the time."

Despite being singled out as the player who started that NHL riot, Wilson was fined $5,000 and not meted a suspension.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Rangers did not take that too well and believed the punishment was unfair.

To make things worse, New York was even told to pay a $250,000 fine for questioning the decision of NHL's head of player safety George Parros.

It was a double whammy for the Rangers, who seemingly tried to get back at the Capitals when they met again on Thursday.

The Rangers did not waste time and incited an old-fashioned melee just seconds after their face-off.

Some Rangers players immediately went at it when the puck dropped. Ironically, Wilson was forced out of the game at some point due to an injury.

Regardless, Wilson also stated that he personally reached out to Panarin after the incident.

It wasn’t mentioned if they managed to bury the hatchet, but the Canadian was glad that the Russian winger was doing better.

Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals Getty Images | Bruce Bennett