'No-fight curse guy' Ryan Zimmerman reacts to 'wild' Capitals-Rangers game

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'No-fight curse guy' Zimmerman reacts to Caps-Rangers game originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tom Wilson has been at the forefront of a heated pair of games between the Capitals and New York Rangers this week, delivering a pair of hits on Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin on Monday that prompted the two teams to fight six times in the first period of Wednesday’s game.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in Washington since 2005 and gotten to know many players on the Capitals, including Wilson. The veteran infielder joined 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Thursday and talked about the heated affair.

“The funny thing is if you talk to Willy off the ice and talk to him, he’s one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet,” Zimmerman said. “But yeah, that game was crazy last night. The joke — me and one of my buddies in Great Falls, he’s taken me to a good amount of games and they never fight when I’m at the games. I’m like the no-fight curse guy and I checked the game last night when I got in from our game and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I needed to be at that game.’ I could’ve definitely seen some fights at that one. But that was pretty wild.”

Wilson was assessed a $5,000 fine for punching Buchnevich but didn’t receive a suspension, much to the dismay of the Rangers. The team released a statement condemning Wilson for his “horrifying act of violence” that resulted in a season-ending injury for Panarin, only for its president and GM to suddenly leave the organization shortly after.

The Capitals won the game 6-3 behind an emotional hat trick from T.J. Oshie, who was playing in his first game since the death of his father. Wilson suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and didn’t return.

Zimmerman doesn’t have much firsthand experience with fights on the baseball field, but he credited hockey for having rules that allow the two players going at it to be separated from everyone else. He talked about how baseball fights can be dangerous when 40 men are in a pile swinging at each other.

“I’m not a very confrontational person,” Zimmerman said. “It’s even less now. I see these fights. I’m 36 years old, I got three kids, the last thing I’m doing is fighting another grown man on a baseball field…I’m usually the guy that is pulling people off of the pile.”

For more interviews, tune into the Sports Junkies on NBC Sports Washington, weekdays from 6-10 a.m.