Video: Scott Walker Punches Aaron Ward
That picture pretty much sums up the entire third period of Sunday's 4-0 Boston win. As the Carolina Hurricanes were getting dominated in every aspect, Scott Walker decided to take out some of his frustrations on Aaron Ward by punching him in the face.
Perhaps he was tired of watching his team play its worst game of the postseason and decided it would be better to just get himself ejected and punch the first guy he saw. As a result, Walker earned a two-minute instigator, a five-minute major for fighting (fighting? More like punching), and a 10-minute misconduct. The NHL has made plenty of noise this year about not tolerating "message sending" in games that have already been decided, so it's likely that Walker will be receiving a phone call from NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell on Monday.
This was all part of a third period that saw Carolina rack up 36 minutes in penalties, including Tim Conboy's seven minutes for his two separate altercations with Scott Thornton and Mark Stuart.
Following the game, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was being interviewed on VERSUS and said, "that was one of the worst sucker punches I've ever seen." He then went on to say that he hasn't seen anything like that since he was playing in the American Hockey League.
Initially, the Bruins defenseman appeared to be involved with Carolina's Matt Cullen, before Walker jumped into the middle and dropped his gloves, and then proceeded to drop Ward. Ward received a two-minute minor for roughing on the play.
Given the NHL's stance on "message sending," it wouldn't be a surprise to see Walker sitting out game 6 in Carolina on Tuesday night. Then again, given the way the NHL has handled similar situations this postseason it's impossible to know for sure what's going to happen when the league spins the wheel of discipline. Some plays are deemed suspension worthy, while others -- even if they're identical to plays that result in suspensions -- are not.