There are some moments when it's cool as heck to take your helmet off in the NHL. For example, when St Louis Blues EBUG Kyle Konin popped his lid off for his rookie solo lap last night.
But other times, not so much. Like ever since the start of the 2013-14 NHL season when the league made a new rule to penalize players who remove their helmets before a fight. Andreas Johnsson came into the league at the start of the 2017-18 season with Toronto, so an NHL where you're not allowed to rip off your bucket before a tilt is all he's ever known. The only thing is that I don't think he's ever fought before and the fella was eager for a tilly with Ryan Hartman last night.
Just uhhh…well just a little too eager.
I love the immediate confusion on Hartman's face but even better is the delayed confusion on Johnsson's. It takes him a few extra moments to realize what he's done. Hell, I don't think it even set in until the linesman explained it to him after the fact.
Tough break for the guy. I mean it was probably for the best since Hartman would have fed him breakfast, lunch and dinner. But he clearly wanted that scrap, and it takes a ton of balls to drop your gloves out there. It takes even more balls to try to make a spectacle out of the whole thing like you're filming the final scene in the new GOON movie. You have to admire the tenacity and the overall lack of regard for his health and safety.
But this like when you try out some new moves in bed after you've seen them in a few videos. It just never works out the same. Andreas Johnsson's YouTube history is clearly going to be hours and hours of fight footage from the 90s. He went for it, and you can commend him for that. But real life is not the same as the videos.
Sidenote: The Wild won their 5th straight game and it was a 3-point night for Ryan Hartman with a goal and 2 assists. He could have had himself a Gordie Howe/Rick Tocchet Hat Trick had Johnsson not taken his helmet off before this fight and both guys just got hit with matching roughing penalties. But that's 13 goals and 8 assists on the year for Ryan Hartman. 21 points in 23 games. And he's still signed for 2 more seasons after this at a $1.7M cap hit. Weapon.
It definitely doesn't hurt when you can rack up points playing with Kirill the Thrill, though. Look at this stallion go.
Hartman is top 10 in goals. Kaprizov is top 10 in assists. The Wild are top 10 in the league. Doesn't take rocket appliance to know this team is on full blown Wagon Watch.