Playoff hockey is one of the greatest things in all of sports. Those, like myself, that aren’t regular viewers of NHL regular season action can’t help but be intoxicated by the frantic nature and high stress environment of playoff games.
However, if there is one thing that tends to be lacking from postseason hockey it’s fighting. There are plenty of scuffles, kerfuffles, and even a brouhaha or two, but rarely do you get a legitimate fight in which two guys are grabbing each other by the jersey and throwing haymakers.
Game 7 of the Capitals-Lightning Eastern Conference Finals delivered that rare moment in playoff hockey, as Tom Wilson of the Caps and Braydon Coburn of the Lightning decided to get it on after they got out of the penalty box for an incident two minutes prior that saw a near fight get broken up. They would not be denied and the result was a pretty incredible hockey fight.
They bolted out of the box and right after each other after clearly coming to an agreement while spending time in the sin bin next to each other. There are some absolute haymakers being thrown here, with Wilson coming out on top, and the two were handed the requisite major penalties for their actions.
Playoff hockey is as intense as anything in all of sports so it’s a bit surprising this doesn’t happen more, but it’s also clear referees are quicker to break up scuffles and players are more aware of the detrimental nature of picking up a major penalty. In this case, both Coburn and Wilson decided it was worth the trouble they would get into and the result was an epic battle at center ice.