NHL fans were quick to react to the news of Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk being fined the maximum amount of $5,000 for spearing Washington Capitals forward Max Pacioretty in Boston on Saturday.
The incident, which occurred at 18:08 of the first period, resulted in Grzelcyk receiving a major penalty and game misconduct for his actions.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety made the announcement, emphasizing that the fine would go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. NHL Player Safety took to X (formerly Twitter) to share the news:
"Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for spearing Washington’s Max Pacioretty."
However, the reactions from NHL fans on X varied, reflecting different perspectives on the severity of the incident and the appropriateness of the punishment.
"Pocket change for Gryznasty," a fan posted.
Another fan took a more nuanced stance, writing:
"I didn't think the spear was intentional. Just got him in the wrong spot. And I am a Bruins hater."
Another fan criticized what they perceived as inconsistency from the Department of Player Safety:
"Here we go, typical inconsistency from the DoPS... that was as blatant a 'Headshot' that I've ever seen! Even felt it through the TV."
Grzelcyk's controversial penalty in 3-0 win over Bruins
The Washington Capitals ended a six-game losing streak with a decisive 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday. T.J. Oshie scored his 299th career goal, and coach Spencer Carbery praised the team's performance.
“Our most complete game of the year, hands down, start to finish,” Carbery said.
Goalie Charlie Lindgren secured his third shutout of the season, crediting the team's effort:
“...If we play that way, we’re a playoff hockey team. There’s no doubt about it.”
Alex Ovechkin made history with his 57th career empty-net goal, surpassing Wayne Gretzky's record. Ovechkin, who also had an assist, now has 834 career goals, closing in on Gretzky's mark of 894.
Carbery highlighted the significance of the win:
“It’s something to build off of with how much we’ve been struggling.”
The Bruins faced adversity, with fans booing their lackluster performance. Captain Brad Marchand said:
“They can cheer us if they like what they see. They can boo if they don’t.”
The game saw a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing by Boston's Matt Grzelcyk, who struck Max Pacioretty. Despite the setback, Pacioretty returned and assisted in setting up Oshie's goal, contributing to the Capitals' dominant performance.