Quick, close your eyes. Imagine there are a little under seven minutes left in game one of the playoffs. It’s a one goal game. In a perfect world, where would your top goal scorer be for the next five minutes: on the ice or in the box?
Me? I chose the former. Shocking, I know. I’m just one of those crazy hockey fans that prefer to win playoff games and like my stars on the ice to give me the best shot at that. We’re a rare breed, admittedly, but it’s just my hockey philosophy: in close, important games have the best players out there. I shared this opinion last night when I said that Simmonds starting a fight there was mind-boggling. Stunningly, the reactions were even more mind-boggling.
Are you people insane, announcers included? What the fuck are you talking about it’s the right move for his team or that it’s about setting the tone for the rest of the series?! This is a one goal game we’re talking about here. You want to set the tone? Have your 32 goal scorer stick around for the full tilt and see if he, oh I don’t know, can tie the hockey game? Maybe set the tone and send a message by winning? In the playoffs you kinda want your best players on the ice but Simmonds went out of his way to confront Wilson in the third period of a winnable game then they both dropped them simultaneously. That’s an absolutely boneheaded play and the only thing stupider is to defend it.