Michael Pezzetta's fight on everyone's lips
In this rather dull end to the season with the Canadiens, Michael Pezzetta is attracting attention in various ways and manages to spice up the action on the ice a little, as spectators at the Bell Center have seen Thursday night.
The No. 55, who displayed his scoring skills by scoring the game-clinching goal in a shootout against the Buffalo Sabers on March 28, returned to what he does best. During the first period of a 6-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, he threw the gloves in front of the robust Tom Wilson, a “supervisor” in the matter in the National Hockey League.
Even though he was knocked down by the Caps strongman near the boards at the end of the matchup, Pezzetta has no regrets. Having tackled Nic Dowd just before, he nevertheless engaged the fight with a rival exceeding him by a few inches. Moreover, Wilson was punished more severely, receiving a misconduct penalty and a minor for initiating hostilities.
In the end, the Canadian was well served. Trailing 1-0 midway through the engagement, he eventually took control of the game.
“I was surprised that he received this instigator punishment. But he was playing on the first line when his formation had 11 attackers in all and he found himself on the sidelines for 17 minutes; surely his club did not like it. I would take it anytime,” he explained, during a press briefing after an optional training session in which he participated in Brossard.
“He's a big guy, obviously, and he plays on the front row. There are few players in this situation, so the trade here was not to their advantage and it made them unhappy, he added, “knowing that the momentary loss of Wilson hurt the Capitals, compared to his own at the Canadiens.
A rule that gets people talking
Also, the application of a new sanction – an additional minor penalty imposed on the initiator of a fight following a clean check – got people talking, even in the penalty box. The two second-hand pugilists seemed to agree on one point: the verdict for Wilson was a little harsh.
“Sitting in the dungeon is not pleasant for anyone. So guys will think twice before jumping into action after legal hits, especially if the victim wasn't injured. This is really a delicate case that the league should address,” he said.
The Habs will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. This will be his 80th game of the campaign. Afterwards, he will face the Islanders in New York on Wednesday, before hosting the Boston Bruins the next day.