Barry Trotz Tried His Darnedest To Stick Up For Tom Wilson After Ryan Reaves Gave Him A Quick Jab To The Face. He Failed.
LBS- Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz called out Ryan Reaves for his “vicious” hit on Tom Wilson in the second period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night.
Midway through the second, Reaves saw Wilson in the crease and delivered a shot to his face, knocking the winger to the ice.
Reaves received a penalty for roughing after the hit.
Trotz was asked about the play during an interview with NBC Sports in the second period and did not mince words.
“I thought it was pretty intentional; he went right at him,” Trotz said. “Tommy (Wilson) brings a lot of attention to himself, but so does Reaves. That was pretty vicious.”
I'd love to sit here and go on and on about how selectively blind Barry Trotz must be to act as if Tom Wilson was victimized by some sort of brutal attack, but the truth is that I pity the position he has been put in by rostering someone who can be productive...when he's not causing as many headaches as he is concussions. It's a head coach's job to have the backs of his players, so - in this case - desperately trying to defend the indefensible was merely an occupational hazard. Still, being forced to sound so staunch in support of obvious stupidity is a plight I wish on no man.
Barry Trotz got stuck between a rock and such a hard place trying to convince himself that a quick bop on the nose was a reprehensible assault that he may as well have been trapped in the bedrock that exists between Tom Wilson's "brain" and his thick skull. If you can't show any mercy for a professional that has to endure that type of neurological nightmare then, well, it's probably pretty likely that you own a Tom Wilson jersey.
To be clear, it's not often that I find myself excusing the random acts of aggression by a glorified goon like Ryan Reaves, but that just speaks to the persistence of the NHL's most preeminent prick. I have no problem with it being called a penalty, but - in the interest of accuracy - I would like that reactionary jab to be changed to two minutes for self-defense in the box score. After all, no matter what biased Barry (literally) has to say, beating to the punch the comically extended cross-check that was coming his way out of the corner of his eye was as instinctual and primal a strike as whatever bite gave Tom Wilson his undiagnosed rabies.