The NHL has always been the one North American sports league that handles fights a little differently.
Perhaps it's because of the physical nature out on the ice, with gigantic athletes decked in huge pads slamming into each other from wall to wall as they try to get a tiny puck through a net.
Washington Capitals' player Tom Wilson may want to stick to keeping his gloves on going forward after catching a beat down from Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart. A high sticking penalty from Wilson to Capitals captain Zach Parise turned into a good ole' hockey fight.
Parise needed to be helped off the ice after taking a hockey stick to the face and Stewart went to bat — literally — for his teammate moments later.
Off came the gloves following the faceoff, and while it was more of a scuffle than the typical all-out brawl the NHL turns into once gear starts flying across the ice, some serious damage was done in the span of a few seconds.
For context, let's start with the penalty to Parise that triggered the incident. You can see Parise immediately go down, covering his face after taking a tough hit:
It doesn't appear the hit was malicious by any means, but that doesn't matter. When one of yours goes down like that, it's hard to stop your blood from boiling. Stewart clearly was ready for retaliation.
The referee dove into the middle of the action to stop the men, who had toppled off their skates and were sprawled out battling on the ice. Here's the fight, which is short and sweet for at least one of the men:
If you think taking a high stick looked painful, wait until you see the other guy. A warning that the image of Wilson's face might be a bit too graphic for the feint of heart.
Really, this is the last warning,
Scroll on if you want to see him:
Perhaps he'll keep his stick to himself from now on. Considering how quick the fight was, it's a little surprising that Wilson was left with a crimson mask. A shame that his white jersey now has spatters of blood all over it.
Dry cleaning may be a bit more expensive this week for Washington. Perhaps they'll make Tom pick up the tab after not only starting the fight inadvertently, but woefully losing as well.
The lesson here, obviously, is to wear a helmet with a visor and keep it on when the gloves are off. Duly noted, Tom.