Photo: Scott Audette
Washington Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt is kindness on skates. So, needless to say, it was a little weird to see him viciously throwing hands with a fellow NHL player. Schmidt’s second period fight with J.T. Brown was his first in the NHL and the third of his professional career.
“I mean it was just kind of a broken down play and the puck was throw at the net,” Schmidt said to reporters after the game. “It was just a little battle in front. I kind of got off edge a little bit. He kind of pushed me in the net. The next thing I knew it was the Royal Rumble. Things were happening.”
Was Schmidt happy just to escape the fight mostly unharmed? No, he wanted to land more angry haymakers.
“[I] wish I would have been able to get up a little more and get my stuff off a little quicker because he got me a couple times before that happened,” Schmidt said before laughing. “But yeah, it was good. It was good to get the first one out of the way.”
Schmidt further explained that he believed Brown was looking for retribution after he “had some words on the way up to ice” with Lightning assistant captain Ryan Callahan.
“And you know what: the emotion of the game – things happen,” Schmidt said. “I was pretty fired up. Like you said, I got a couple in there so we’ll say I’m happy we’re both still here and alive.”
“Whatever it takes to get two points,” he concluded.
Former Capitals enforcer Alan May was amused after seeing Schmidt’s interview.
“Hey, the sun shines on the guy all the time,” May said. “He takes a couple punches to the face and is the happiest guy in the world. I was never that kind of guy.”
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