Ryan Reaves v. Tom Wilson III – Hype Machine Never Break

| The Danimal

The NHL started yesterday, with a fizzle and then the new kids on the block showing some flashes of showmanship and excitement. It was all fine and dandy, but now we have the ACTUAL opening day of the 2021-22 season. Five games on the schedule with plenty of storylines abound, but the hockeyfights team has their eyes set squarely on one matchup in particular. The matchup of the day is of course, the New York Rangers at the Washington Capitals and with it, the reacquaintance of old friends, Tom Wilson, and Ryan Reaves.

In case this offseason has been drier than dried toast for you, and you need a catchup, here is how it went down.

  • Tom Wilson took on four Rangers at different points in one scrum in which he punches Pavel Buchnevich (now of the St. Louis Blues) and ragdolls Artemi Panarin

  • The Rangers and Capitals next game is must-watch TV

  • The Rangers make it known they are in the market for a enforcer.
  • The Rangers trade for (2022 3rd round draft pick in return for the Vegas Golden Knights) and extend (for one year past this one) said enforcer by the name of Ryan Reaves.
  • The NHL schedules their first matchup to be Game 1 on the schedule for both teams.

And now that you’re caught up on why we are excited for tonight’s matchup, lets have a look back at the two previous meetings between the two current iterations of the NHLs enforcers.

Reaves vs Wilson I

Was all the way back in the 2013 and we find ourselves with a young Tom Wilson going after the then St. Louis Blue, Reaves, receiving an additional minor for roughing. Wilson, not happy that Reaves laid a hit on the Caps centre Backstrom, skirts that line between instigator and roughing.

After shedding the gloves before engaging Wilson then tries quickly to close the distance on Reaves, but he will have none of it. Reaves gets a hold of Wilson’s left shoulder but only is able to get one maybe two good body shots off before both guys begin to defend well. Their defenses turn it to a wrestling matching Wilson scores the “on top of other guy” take down.

DRAW

Reaves vs Wilson II

Again, step with me into the time machine as we head back to 2014 and again, Reaves is with the Blues, Wilson with his familiar Capitals of Washington. Nicklas Backstrom takes his familiar role as straw that stirs the drink, this time as the aggressor taking the Blues, Steve Ott into the boards hard. Reaves proceeds to grab a dispirited Backstrom, who wants none of that, before Tom comes in and wraps up Ryan.

The two separate and Wilson backs up to get off his gear, Wilson drives in to try and get a hold of Reaves and while he does, Reaves has the top grip. Reaves is able to unleash a few punches that end up missing, before two of three over hand rights seem to land and Wilson responds with a punch that RR is able to avoid. Wilson looks to shake out his right arm and Reaves catches him on the back of the head and down goes Wilson.

Winner: REAVES

It’s been too long, 2525 days to be exact, but tonight, it looks like that drought is over.

Stay safe.