A matinee game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was going to mean an early day for all involved, but Wayne Simmonds was hitting the showers earlier than anyone after being ejected from Saturday’s game midway through the first period.
Simmonds was handed a game misconduct and match penalty for a punch to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh shortly after the 10-minute mark of the first frame. The battle between Simmonds and McDonagh was sparked when the Flyers winger attempted to deliver a hit to the Rangers captain after he had moved the puck up ice. McDonagh, who saw Simmonds coming, caught him in the head with a crosscheck which set Simmonds off.
Simmonds delivered a slash, McDonagh retaliated with a crosscheck and the two players separated for a brief moment before Simmonds threw a gloved left punch to McDonagh’s head that saw the defenseman hit the ice. Here’s the entire sequence:
Simmonds didn’t take too kindly to learning of his ejection, and midway through the video you can see Simmonds’ frustration reach its height as he smashes his stick over the opened gate before throwing it back towards the referees and linesmen.
The entire play — McDonagh’s crosscheck, Simmonds’ punch and subsequent throwing of his stick — will almost certainly be looked at by the league and further discipline could be coming to Simmonds if the league deems it necessary.
While the league can’t suspend a player simply because he caused an injury, the injury could factor in to the length of a potential suspension. In this case, that might not be good news for Simmonds as McDonagh left the game and will not return, according to the Rangers.